Students create security systems

Students joined the Maker’s Club at the Makerspace in Wilson Library to create miniature security alarms using the Arduino computer platform Tuesday.

Club president Tiffany Casillas began the workshop with a brief description of Arduino.

“Arduino is essentially a microcomputer that can be used as a controller,” Casillas said. “It is an easy-to-use, hands-on kit used for building interactive digital objects.”

Casillas demonstrated inputting code through the Arduino Integrated Development Environment, where code is typed and edited before being uploaded onto the Arduino board.

Once the code was typed up into the Arduino Integrated Development Environment, Casillas and the students began creating a security alarm by connecting the Arduino board to a sensor, a buzzer and a small bread board.

The students connected the colored jumper wires to precise locations according to the previously typed code.

Casillas worked one-on-one with the students at the workshop to ensure each security alarm functioned properly.

Maker’s Club will host a summer robotics camp for students from third to 12th grade, Casillas said.

The club will also be fundraising to provide a free spot for a student, Casillas said.

“We will be teaching them the basics of Arduino, including coding,” Casillas said. “They will also be creating a small robot using Arduino.” 

Online learning tools and premade codes make Arduino easy to learn, Sabrina Herrera, sophomore criminolgy major, said. 

“Whether you’re a criminology major like me or a business major like Tiffany, Arduino is an awesome program to learn,” Herrera said. “You can apply it to almost anything.” 

The Maker’s Club previously used Arduino to create a Halloween costume with color-changing lights for the Makerspace director’s daughter, Herrera said.

“Teaching Arduino to young students is a great introduction to the STEM field,” Jessica Velazquez, Maker’s Club member, said.

Instead of viewing robotics as something impossible, students get the opportunity to actually build one, Velazquez said. 

—Natalie Gutiérrez 

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