For the past two years, I have been playing with Arduino boards and kits and shields. In addition to my own personal needing to make and tinker, I have been convinced that they would be very powerful tools for my 7th and 8th grade Life Science students.
Scratch into physical computing. As part of a unit on the human body systems and feedback mechanism in particular, some of my 8th graders built models using Arduino boards. The one in the picture models/demonstrates human thermoregulation using a bendable potentiometer and a three-color LED. The best part is that the students worked this out pretty much on their own.
This great resource showed up in my email this morning. It is a brief manual for the Arduino which is very nicely done and very clearly written. It was prepared by Dr. Jan Borchers of RWTH Aachen University in Germany. I am very much looking forward to using this with my students as the school year begins here in New York.
I am in the second year of constructing the classes I teach as sets of self-directed learning experiences. I look forward to seeing how the Arduino work adds to the project.