Give Kids Arduino Adventures

Books DIY Electronics GeekMom
Image courtesy Apress.

Arduino Adventures: Escape from Gemini Station is a great introduction to Arduino robotics projects for kids (and adults who want an easy starting point.) The book was written by James Floyd Kelly and Harold Timmis and published by Apress. Full disclosure: James Floyd Kelly is a contributor on GeekDad, and Apress is also my book publisher.

The basic structure of Arduino Adventures is the intertwining of the “escape from Gemini Station” story followed by a lesson and project. The projects build upon themselves and eventually finish with a completed robot and some explanation of Arduino programming.

There’s no soldering required, and there’s even a kit you can purchase with all parts for all the lessons mentioned in the book. Even without the kit, most of the parts should be available at your local Radio Shack.

The structure of the book is very logical, and the authors took care to eliminate a lot of the more frustrating points with big robotics projects, such as soldering errors. By the end of the book, kids should have some building blocks for understanding electronics and programming, although this book will not bring them to expert level. However, this sort of scaffolded introduction into robotics could easily spark their interest and motivate them to explore on their own.

This is the sort of mother-child project bonding book I’d recommend for the 8-12 year olds who are new to robotics. Older kids may want to go through the lessons on their own. I plan on going through the lessons with my daughter’s robotics club, because it gives the younger kids some projects that don’t require soldering and go beyond Snap Circuits or Little Bits.

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6 thoughts on “Give Kids Arduino Adventures

  1. My boss and I are currently working on curriculum for 4-H using Arduino, both free boards and sewing. I think this book may be a great resource and I’d love to talk about experiences you’ve had using these sorts of projects with your daughter’s robotics club!

      1. We have some wonderful programs available nationally, but we are always trying to add, stay current, and exciting! I’m right in the middle of my write-up on the Lilypad and FLORA systems for prototyping a sewing curriculum. I’m also gearing up to go to FIRST World Festival where I’ll be an FLL judge and a representative of 4-H Robotics. We are fortunate to be one of the two states that is the official FIRST partner for our state. We are also looking to expand the science and robotics opportunities within our state. I’m so glad that your 4-H club has this wonderful opportunity for kids. We are also doing our programs in schools! I lead the a Jr.FLL group through 4-H in my daughter’s 2nd grade classroom on Fridays. It’s a blast!

        My boss and another volunteer are working on looking at Arduino Uno boards and breadboarding projects.

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