Coding & Tech

Unlocking the Arduino: Prototyping Essentials

Stretch your skills as an electrical engineer by using your home makerspace to transform your Arduino projects into complete prototypes
Ian Nelson
2455 total reviews for this teacher
4 reviews for this class
Completed by 12 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.

50 minutes

per class

Once per week

over 8 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Students will grow in their ability to:
- Articulate goals for electrical engineering projects
- Identify diverse strategies to solve engineering problems
- Build and troubleshoot mechanical prototypes
- Compose and troubleshoot programs using the Arduino
As a mechanical engineer and engineering educator, I love the challenge of helping students bring their ideas to life. Unlocking the Arduino offers an excellent opportunity for students to say, "I want to design a circuit that can do x, y, and z" while gaining the skills to make that happen.
Students are highly encouraged to work on their projects independently between classes. I frequently advise that learners work on their projects until they get stuck and formulate questions to bring to our next class. This class is about the engineering design process where I anticipate that learners will encounter challenging scenarios.
Students will need an Arduino Starter Kit that includes resistors, LEDs, sensors, buzzers, buttons, potentiometers, motors, servos, H-bridges, and LCD displays. I recommend the following kits.
* Arduino Starter Kit (available at for $90)
* ELEGOO UNO Starter Kit (available on Amazon for under $50)
* SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino Uno v4.0 ( for $110)

Because Arduino is an open source platform, you can find many versions of Starter Kits across a wide range of price points. You want to ensure that any kit purchased for this course has the Arduino UNO board, a circuit breadboard, jumper wires, resistors, LEDs, sensors, buzzers, buttons, potentiometers, motors, servos, H-bridges, and LCD displays.

The Arduino software is free for learners using Mac and PC computers. Students using Chromebooks will need to use the Arduino Create App which is free for 30 days and then costs $1/month.

Additionally, learners will need prototyping supplies from a home makerspace. Home makerspaces include things like craft supplies, recyclables, and building toys.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
This course uses authentic assessment where learners demonstrate that their prototype meets project goals.
50 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
Students should have existing experience building with Arduino. Learners should be able to build an Arduino project that uses either buttons or dials to control LEDs before enrolling in this class. No soldering skills are required. 

Learners should be comfortable using their makerspace items independently as I will not be providing specific guidance on tool use. If your learner needs a portable makerspace that is easily contained, I recommend using a mixture of interlocking building bricks. For learners working with craft supplies and recycling, I recommend that they also have tools such as a hot glue gun, a, box cutter with a cutting mat, and a screwdriver that can be used as a punch.


Ian Nelson
Lives in the United States
Engineer Extraordinaire and Facilitator of Ian Genuity's Engineering Adventures
2455 total reviews
2229 completed classes

About Me

Hello! I'm an engineer committed to giving students amazing experiences in math, science, and engineering. I believe that learning happens when kids ask questions and explore their interests. I look forward to helping your kids leverage their... 
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