Monday, February 15, 2016

Exploring Code and @Arduino with @DuinoKit #MakerEd

I've been playing with my own Arduinos for a few months and have come up with fun projects based on sketches I've found online and books I've purchased. I've even designed my own case to hold my Arduino while I built projects around it.

I am always looking around for new ideas and I really wanted to find something different that would really allow me to explore using Arduino in many different ways and also be able to show students how it can be used. Luckily I was able to find a very cool piece of technology on Amazon that looked amazing!

The DuinoKit is an all-in-one Arduino Discovery Kit. It has all of the parts you would need to try new things with your Arduino. It is set up with an Arduino Nano and everything is all wired together in the briefcase. All the user has to do is attach the wires to the specific parts and run the code. Here are a couple of examples that I have been able to put together.

In this video, I was able to connect the LED to the light sensitive cell. The darker the room, the faster the blinking. I actually deviated from the sheet that DruinoKit provided and connected to a different LED and then figured out how to add the push button on my own. One of my first projects on the kit and I was already hacking. :-)

A photo posted by Nick Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher) on

Here is a simple connection and code that showed me the temperature and the humidity in my classroom. Just connected a few wires and ran the code. The students that came in the room that is was very cool. I took some deep breaths and blew on the sensor and watched as the humidity and temperature increased on the LCD screen. Again, it was very cool.

I had some questions about connecting certain parts, so I emailed the support address and got a response immediately.  After exchanging a few emails, it turned out that DruinoKit is run by a Math Teacher. He teaches during the day and fills orders as they come in. I honestly thought that this was a large company that was putting together this high quality product. This fact makes me love DruinoKit even more. I love supporting teachers that going the extra mile to help learning beyond their own classroom.

There are two kits that you could purchase. I bought the Essentials Kit and love it. 

Here is what comes in the Essentials Kit:

There is a Duino Kit Jr. that is also worth exploring.

You can see that the Jr Kit comes with these really cool Mission cards. I was able to get these from the DruinoKit website to use with my Essentials Kit. You have to change some of the wire connections for the Missions to work, but I was told that there will be some new Missions coming up shortly and a revamped Forum that will allow for more sharing of the different projects people are creating.

Of all of the money I have spent over the past few months, this is some of the best money I have spent. I look forward to taking my Essentials Kit with me as I travel this Summer and talk about Makerspaces with educators.

When it is all said and done, I highly recommend educators buying a kit if they are looking for ways to enhance their own understanding of coding and Arduino and for something awesome to add to their Makerspace that supports a teachers. If you have any questions about this kit, please reach out and I'm happy to tell you how awesome it is again.

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