Motivating Students to Learn About Microcontrollers

Colin Karpfinger of Minneapolis wrote in to share a recent experience where he returned to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, to give a talk at a microcontrollers class:

I’ve had the good fortune of finding projects outside of school that motivate me to learn. While in school I noticed that this was lacking in other people and in turn made school feel much harder for them. I have a lot of complaints about the higher education system, and I decided it’s time to try and make some improvements.

Enter ‘The First Lecture’, a simple experiment to see if it is possible to dramatically improve students lives (and indirectly, their grades) by providing the right motivation (the vast and endless sea) and better tools (the right ship for the journey). To highlight how easy it is to make this change, I’m going to try and do it all within the first lecture.

Colin got Saleae and Microchip Tech to donate donated 80 PIC programmers and logic analyzers to help motivate the students.

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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