Introduction: Arduino UNO Formative Assessment Activity
The focus of this lesson is to introduce beginner students to physical computing with a purpose. Groups create a game where the first person to know the answer pushes the button lighting their LED. Students will answer teacher-generated questions based off of the physical computing they just experienced creating. This is an activity that could be built multiple times over a quarter, semester, or year promoting engagement and formative assessment. This activity can be a formative assessment of knowledge gained as students practiced building and troubleshooting the physical connections between the breadboard, components, and the Arduino UNO R3.
NOTE: This is a beginner activity but students need to have experience working with basic knowledge of a breadboard, components, the Arduino UNO R3and playing a sketch in the Arduino Web Editor.
Student Groups: Ideally 2 or 4.
NOTE: Two is preferred because each student can concentrate on 1 of 2 parts. The more students, above 2, tends to range from students either being pushed out to not participating at all or simply watching. My experience tells me that the majority of students who sit back and do not physically participate will not be successful in learning.
1x Arduino Uno R3 + USB A-to-B Cable
2x LEDs Green Yellow
2x Push Buttons
2x 330Ω Resistor
2x 10k Resistors
8x Jumper Wires
1 Yellow, long
1 Green, long
3 Blue, long
3 Red, 2 short & 1 long
Step 1: Attach Green LED & Button
Find the Green LED and 1 button and place them on the breadboard.
The longer leg of the LED should be inserted toward the top or 1 of the breadboard.
Step 2: Attach Yellow LED & Button
Find the Yellow LED and 1 button and place them on the breadboard.
1. The longer leg of the LED should be inserted toward the top.
2. If you have a longer breadboard. Insert these components lower such as at the 40 mark.
Step 3: Attach Resistors for Both LEDs
Find the two 330Ω resistors and insert them like you see in the graphic.
The resistors are attached on the same row (2 & 19) as the shorter leg of the LED.
Step 4: Attach Resistors for Both Buttons
Find the two 10k resistors and insert them like you see in the graphic.
Step 5: Attach Wires for Buttons
Find the 2 short red wires and insert them like you see next to each button.
Notice that the red wire is above and the resistor is below.
Step 6: Halfway Finished!
This is how the breadboard with components should look!
Note the following:
1. If you split the breadboard in half, horizontally, you have replicated the components on both sides.
a. 1 LED
b. 1 button
c. 2 resistors
d. 1 wire
2. Nothing has been attached to the UNO at this point.
Step 7: Attach Green Wire
Find the green wire and insert from row 1a of the breadboard to UNO’s Digital Pin 13.
Step 8: Attach Yellow Wire
Find the yellow wire and insert from row 18a of the breadboard to UNO’s Digital Pin 12.
Step 9: Blue Wire for Green LED
Find the blue wire and insert it from the same row as the resistor and the button of the green LED of the breadboard to UNO’s Digital Pin 2.
Step 10: Blue Wire for Yellow LED
Find the blue wire and insert it from the same row as the resistor and the button of the yellow LED of the breadboard to UNO’s Digital Pin 3.
Step 11: Connect Wire to 5V
Find the remaining red wire and connect it from the bottom positive power rail to the 5V on the UNO.
Step 12: Connect Wire to Grounded
Find the remaining blue wire and connect it from the bottom negative power rail to Grounded on the UNO.
Step 13: Your Are Finished Building!
The final connections from the Breadboard to the UNO should look like this…
Step 14: Open Sketch and Play!
Click HERE to open my modified sketch in the Arduino Web Editor. Play the code!
Step 15: Does It Work?
It is working when you push the button next to each LED, they light up!
Time to Troubleshoot! Check the following:
a. The best thing to do is go over the steps to make sure the pieces are where they should be.
b. LED position: Is the longer leg of the LED in the higher of the two lanes? For example, lanes 1 and 2 are used for the LED. The longer leg is in lane 1 and the shorter leg is placed in lane 2.
Step 16: Instructor’s Notes
As I had mentioned earlier, this is an opportunity for:
1. Teams to reflect on what they built
2. What is connected to what
3. A scavenger hunt with the sketch. In regards to the scavenger hunt, the sketch is relatively short and many patterns can be seen in relation to the 2 buttons, 2 LEDs, and conditions.
These are various ways that this physical computing activity can be incorporated into several possibilities of determining formative learning from each student.
Step 17: Credit
This sketch was originally called Button at the link, http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Button. This sketch was created by DojoDave in 2005 and modified by Tom Igoe August 11th, 2011. I have modified this sketch to incorporate 2 buttons, a LED, additional resistors and wires as well adjusting and adding code to this sketch. Click HERE to open my modified sketch in the Arduino Web Editor.
Button. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Button