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Learning programming and electronics may seem like an extremely complicated step, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be such. Arduino, an open-source software and hardware company specializing in micro-controllers, introduces starter kits for anyone willing to acquire new skills. The company’s hardware is licensed by the Lesser General Public License, which ensures all components are manufactured solely by Arduino, passing all quality and safety checks.
In this guide, we’ve gathered the five best programming starter kits by Arduino. Suitable for students of all ages and focused on different skills, they provide knowledge through theory and hands-on projects. Read on to discover the perfect Arduino bundle that will teach you to utilize new knowledge in custom experiments.
We’re starting this guide with the ultimate Arduino starter kit that doesn’t require any prior knowledge. The kit was developed to introduce people of all ages to the basics of programming, coding, and electronics.
The lessons include an introduction to sensors and actuators, explain the difference between analog and digital signals, and teach safety measures. Of course, the tutorials also help to effectively utilize received information, performing custom experiments. The project book contains an introduction to the basics and detailed tutorials on 14 fun projects. For instance, students can learn how to create keyboard musical instruments or a universal master control for all devices.
Some of the most fun experiments include a mystic crystal ball that answers questions and a love-o-meter that is, essentially, a thermometer. Larger sets with the same functionality are available for groups of over eight students. As this kit doesn’t get too deep into the theoretical, the Arduino Education starter kit may be more suitable for younger kids. Finally, let’s take a look at what the kit contains:
As the name suggests, the Arduino Grove Starter Kit is a beginner-friendly programming device with a number of built-in modules. No additional wiring, external breadboard, or soldering is required as opposed to other company’s kits that have to be assembled.
A one-circuit board resembles Radio Shack electronics kits that were popular back in the 1980s’. But, like all Arduino products, the Grove set enables you to create custom IoT devices. The Grove Base Shield is compatible with various development boards, such as Intel Edison and Arduino LinkIt One, and all Raspberry Pi models. The included Seeed Studio access provides 12 starter tutorials.
In short, the lessons teach you how to use each board’s components. You can blink with LEDs, make noise with a buzzer, display data on a screen, control the frequency of sound, and more. As a bonus, the guide offers two project tutorials. Here’s what the kit consists of:
Arduino Classroom bundle consists of six popular starter kits and is suitable for at least twelve people. It’s recommended for middle to high school students even without extensive knowledge of programming, coding, or electronics. However, some understanding of the basics may be beneficial.
The one-month free access to Chromebook Educational App is a great bonus. A project book provides a step-by-step guide on getting started with Arduino and 14 different projects. Students will create a spaceship control panel, color mixing lamp, keyboard instrument, digital hourglass, mystic crystal ball answering questions, and much more.
Overall, it’s a fun way to familiarize yourself with coding and electronics, though the lessons don’t get too much into safety and other fundamentals. The Arduino Education Starter Kit comes highly recommended for younger students – read on to find out more about it. The kit contains:
The Arduino Education Starter Kit is created to teach middle-school students programming, coding, and electronics fundamentals. Absolutely no prior knowledge is required, as the bundle provides detailed step-by-step instructions. A comprehensive teacher guide ensures that the program can be perfectly adjusted to each student’s skill level.
Together with the kit, you receive a PDF-format logbook and online classes platform with a lesson program. The first lesson gets students familiar with the basics, such as safety and materials. Afterward, they will learn fundamental concepts of electricity, such as Ohm’s law, and get introduced to Arduino software. Here’s where experiments start to take place. Students will try to use potentiometer, design holiday lights, robots, windshield wipers, musical keyboards, lightwave radars, and greenhouse control systems. Every lesson ranges from 90 to 180 minutes.
The kit contains components necessary for eight students separated into groups of two. You get:
The MKR IoT Bundle is, perhaps, the easiest way to dive into the world of programming with Arduino. The set provides detailed guidance on using the MKR1000 board. Five online experiment tutorials help to get the gist of how the technology can be implemented before you start developing your own creations.
The company’s website explicitly recommends not to connect 9V to the board to avoid damaging it. Instead, use the 9V battery strip to supply power to an external component. While the whole set costs $70 on the official website, all components can be bought separately for $85. The availability of spare components is good news, as newcomers may easily damage some of them if not following instructions closely. That’s absolutely natural, as experiments always involve some degree of risk. Although cheaper Arduino alternatives from no-name brands are tempting, they likely won’t provide such consistent quality.
Furthermore, Arduino has great customer support that’s always happy to answer any of your questions. The bundle consists of:
Now that you know what’s in the bundle let’s take a closer look at how it can be utilized. The first experiment offered by Arduino is called “Love You Pillow” and is truly romantic. By following the tutorial, you can create a LED pillow with audio controlled via a Telegram bot or other chosen chat. Simply put, you can send any emoji remotely, and a buzzing heartbeat will indicate the pillow’s owner about your message.
Another project possible with the Arduino MKR IoT bundle is “Puzzle Box.” It suggests you create a custom lock for your stash box that can be opened by turning potentiometers in the right order. The combination can be set via Blynk online app. When the right order is guessed, your puzzle box will play a song and automatically open the lid. The company warns to put candies rather than real valuables inside. However, we’re sure that with some practice, you’ll manage to create a reliable enough lock.
Have you ever heard of Pavlov’s dog? The third experiment is named “Pavlov’s cat,” and you’ll soon understand why. It should train your cat to recognize dinner time using only MKR IoT bundle components and regular cardboard. No animals were hurt in developing the experiment. Of course, cats are independent creatures, and no one can guarantee the project will succeed, but you get the picture. Every time the sensors detect a cat’s presence on the cardboard, a certain melody plays, and your pet receives food. Sometimes, another melody will play, though food won’t dispense. You can control the food dispensing rate via phone and monitor the cat’s behavior progression. After some time, the cat should start following you every time you play the first melody.
“The Nerd” is a wireless electronic pet, a Tamagotchi if you wish, and the fourth project possible with this bundle. It survives by collecting WiFi SSIDs. You must balance your router’s online and offline modes with day times to ensure the Nerd’s healthy sleeping and eating routine. Sounds tricky? Here’s how it works. The Nerd scans available networks every half hour. When a new network is detected, the virtual pet stores it and goes to sleep in Low-power mode. If nothing is detected, the Nerd will make loud sounds until you feed it. When not fed for two days, the Nerd dies with a dramatic noise.
Finally, the last experiment is the “Plant Communicator.” With the help of sensors connected to your plants, you can monitor the moisture level, temperature, and light. Daily emails, graphs, and notifications ensure that you meet all their needs.
If you don’t see an app that should be here, let us know what it is