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Integrate Design Thinking and Physical Computing With Arduino via Distance Leaning

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Monday, November 30, 2:00–2:50 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Deepika Srivastava  
Vidhi Srivastava  

Are you a future-ready teacher? Are you creating a technology-rich learning environment to inspire the next generation of innovators via Distance Learning? Engage in a virtual hands-on session to integrate the design-thinking framework to build a smart digital surveillance system using Arduino.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: The open-source Arduino Software (IDE) makes it easy to write code and upload it to the board. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The environment is written in Java and based on Processing and other open-source software.
Participants can either use the online Arduino web editor by creating an account or by installing the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Additional detail: Student presentation, Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

According to the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 technology, business and academic experts from around the world, 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. This presentation addresses the biggest challenge that exists for educators, how do we best prepare our students for this unknown future? It guides the participants through a cycle of Design Thinking using Arduino, that is defined as an analytic and creative process that engages students in opportunities to experiment, create and prototype models, gather feedback, redesign and be better prepared for jobs of future.

Arduino is an open-source platform used for building electronics projects. Arduino consists of both a physical programmable circuit board and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment), that runs on your computer and is used to write and upload computer code to the physical board. Arduino was designed for school kids to give them a taste of physical computing, programming and hardware design. It is a perfect tool for teaching Design Thinking and Physical Computing by creating a prototype. Arduino has been widely adopted by high schools and post-secondary education (e.g., universities, colleges, research institutes) in the fields of engineering, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Art, and Design through a worldwide community of Arduino practitioners.
The Arduino programming environment is easy-to-use for beginners, yet flexible enough for advanced users to take advantage of. For teachers, it's conveniently based on the processing programming environment, so students learning to program in that environment will be familiar with the look and feel of Arduino.
In this Virtual hands-on workshop, the attendees will be able to
• Use the Arduino microcontroller to design and construct an electronic invention for a real life problem in a simulation environment
• Develop a deeper understanding of electrical circuits, programming in C/C++ and physical computing with Arduino.
• Be empowered to integrate design thinking with physical computing to inspire the next generation of innovators via Distance Learning


• The presentation is based on research that classrooms that celebrate the process of design thinking, empower students to identify problems and reframe them as actionable opportunities and develop a growth mindset. (5 minutes)
• The presentation will introduce educators to the fundamentals of programming, electronics, sensors, actuators, and shall help them develop an understanding of analog and digital signals. The participants will set up their computer by installing the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE). (5 minutes)
• The participants will also have the opportunity to install additional Arduino libraries which are a collection of code that makes it easy to connect to a sensor, display module, etc. (5 minutes)
• The presentation will simulate a classroom that synergistically engages participants in a hands-on session on Arduino to integrate physical computing, programming and electronics. The participants will go through a sequence of four 10-minute mini-lessons. In the first lesson, they will learn how to deliberate design process for generating ideas to solve a real life problem. (10 minutes)
• In the second mini lesson, the participants will learn how to program UNO R3 controller board to blink the Arduino’s built-in LED. An Uno R3 RC Smart Robot Car Kit will be provided to each participant at the workshop for hands-on experience on physical computing with Arduino in a simulation environment (10 minutes)
• In the third mini lesson, the participants will learn how to generate a sound with an active buzzer. (10 minutes)
• In the fourth mini lesson, the participants will learn how to use an ultrasonic sensor to detect and measure distance from an obstacle. (10 minutes)
• Finally, participants will use the information from the first four lessons to design an autonomous, robotic vehicle that can sense an obstacle, measure distance from the vehicle, sound an alarm and send a light signal. (25 minutes)
• The presenters will answer questions and share resources to enable teachers to integrate physical computing, programming and electronics in their classrooms. (10 minutes)

Supporting research

• Stanford D.School provides our design framework:
• Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student’s Potential(2018). John D. Couch, Jason Towne.

More [+]


Deepika Srivastava, Redlands Unified School District
Vidhi Srivastava, STEM For All Foundation

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