The Art 30 students will soon be coding Arduinos and creating interactive canvases - which means I am doing some homework and learning about Arduinos myself. Saskcode has a great website with tutorials for teachers who want to include programming in their K-12 courses. Today I tried a mixture of their 1H "Create Any Colour with RGB LEDs" and had success experimenting with taking the RGB light off the breadboard and still having it hooked up and their "Blinking an RGB light with a Lilypad." I am still not sure which one - an Arduino Uno or Lilypad - will work best with the canvas for this project. I am still struggling to understand resistors, and how electricity travels around the breadboard and connects to various pins. I tried Saskcode's 2c "Sound" activity, as I also want students to be able to create sound with their canvases, but I had no luck. The Arduino did not play any music. I ordered my own personal kit to experiment with, so I'm hoping that my kit is to blame more than my wiring capabilities. Thank goodness Warman High's resident expert, Ms. Bitner, is going to teach me a few things this week. Saskcode is shipping us an Arduino Uno and Lilypad kit to experiment with our students. Mrs. Fishley and Ms. Moe are also going to help out in period 4, and together with students we will learn a bit more about coding than we knew starting out. We may have to adjust our expectations to meet reality - my vision was a touch sensitive canvas that reacts to viewers - only time will tell (you can see the possibilities for someone who knows what they are doing below).
Sarah Gerrard teaches Visual Arts 9-12 at Warman High School. She recently received a grant from the Prairie Spirit Schools Foundation to infuse her courses with STEAM.