KU Abstract 2014 - Arduino Project

Names: Rachael Green, Olathe North High School, Olathe KS

Taber Fisher, Olathe East High School, Olathe KS

Research Teacher Mentor: James Deane, Ottawa High School, Ottawa KS

Research Mentors: Dr. Jordan Hanson, University of Kansas, Lawrence KS

Prof. Dave Besson, University of Kansas, Lawrence KS

Purpose: The Arduino project’s purpose is to inspire young children about science and technology by showing them what they are able to do with a circuit board and why they have no reason to be afraid of one.
Methods: We used multiple different Arduino boards throughout our project. We used the Arduino IDE to develop programs for the Arduino boards. For the computer interactive projects, we used a programming language called Processing.

Results: We have successfully made the Arduino Esplora into a working instrument and a 3D touchless mouse sensor. In order to create these things we had to learn the syntax of programming Arduino boards. We have also made a custom GUI (Graphical User Interface) for the 3D sensor that is more child-friendly and has a pseudo game-like environment.

Meaning to Larger Project: One of the major goals of the QuarkNet project is to bring advanced science and technology into pre-college classrooms. Many aspects of particle physics research require the development of specialized hardware, including programming microcontrollers to assist in controlling experiment parameters and providing feedback regarding hardware operation. Developing Arduino projects to be used by pre-college students in a physics environment will generate interest and expose students to a frequently ignored connection between physics and technology.

Future Research: People continuing our research in the future could do multiple things that would help to advance the Arduino project’s purpose. One of those is ironing out the bugs in some of the code of the 3D interface’s GUI. The next step for the 3D sensor would be to shrink it down, remove some of the crude and uglier parts and make senor more accurate, a version 2.0, to show kids the process of creating something new and cool. There are also various projects that did not make it into development this year that others could develop such as a head mouse, muscle sensors and a piezo-electric drum pad game.