Distance Learning won't prevent SVHS engineering students from experiencing hands-on learning. The engineering department recently purchased Arduino kits for each of the students in the program to use at home. Nearly $12,000 in Distance Learning grants were provided to SVHS career technical education teachers in September and October by the Sonoma County CTE Foundation. The Arduino kits were purchased with this funding.
"These small but powerful kits actually have many of the components they would have access to in our engineering lab," said Engineering Teacher Drue Jacobs. "They're obviously to a smaller scale, but it still allows students a hands-on experience."
These kits allow students to effectively demonstrate certain types of circuits, why they need capacitors, and what they accomplish. They also give students a working knowledge of Ohm's law and how to wire LED lighting in series versus parallel. Adding in the Arduino portion allows them to explore some object based coding.
The TinkerCad website has a virtual Arduino kit, allowing the students to digitally build and debug before physically building their projects.
"I love the virtual space and what it allows us to accomplish," says Mr. Jacobs, "but I strongly believe understanding how things fit, function, and interact is better understood by holding it directly in one's hand."