Third open source hardware hacking course


In July 2015, Catalyst hosted the third annual Arduino Academy for students, where eight Year 11-13 students from Wellington schools (including four girls) spent three days working with Arduino's open source electronic prototyping platforms. Image of students

This year, the focus was on sensors rather than robotics. The students began with the basics, including an introduction to basic electronics, then worked through some examples of the Freetronics Experimenter's Kit and eventually used Ethernet shield to create a simple web server to display temperature and humidity readings from some additional sensors.

During a visit to Victoria University, Elf Eldridge took the students to see the Computer Science and Engineering labs. They also had the chance to see a completed, and considerably more complex, Arduino project at Catalyst: a quality control board from Weta Digital.

On the final day of the course, the students worked with a touch screen, enhancing a game of pong.

At the end of the course, the students were challenged to come up with an interesting Arduino project to post on the Moodle site used for the Arduino Academy. The student with the best project will win a $50 voucher to use on

The students all reported that they had a terrific time, as did the Catalyst staff who worked with them over the duration of the course.

Many thanks to Darrin Hodges, from Catalyst Australia, who came over again to tutor students, Ian Beardslee, who has organised the course for the last three years and sponsored the prize, Robin Sheat, who came along with his Koha load meter and radio communicator (two Arduinos talk to each other via radio frequency), and Elf Eldridge from Victoria University for the field trip.

View more photos from the Academy.