Full Course Material: Physical Computing, Art, Robotics, and Tech for Good

Other Material
January 19, 2022
Entrepreneurship, Ethics & Social Justice, Information Systems
entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, programming, coding, information systems, Computer Science, Engineering, Art, Hardware, Assistive Technology, Disabilities, Service, Project
Area of Study: 
Business and Management
Target Audience: 
Undergraduate Students
Average rating: 

Fast, inexpensive computing and open-source hardware now allows students with even no prior programming background to learn to program, develop hardware projects, and deploy useful solutions after a single course. Physical Computing: Art, Robotics, and Tech for Good is an undergrad-focused course that assumes no prerequisites. Students learn the hardware-focused CircuitPython programming language (a derivative of Python) when learning to build electronics projects. The course is a "flipped class" offering, with the bulk of new concept instruction happening via YouTube videos (all less than 30 min in length, roughly 2 hrs. of online video instruction each week). In-class exercises have students work individual and providing help to others to solve challenges related to online learning. Three open-ended creative projects are completed as part of the course: "Make Art", "Assistive Technology" (partnering with an on-campus program for students with developmental and physical disabilities aged 3-21), and a "Final Project". Students also develop several learning projects during the course of the semester, including a "smart" cabinet that lights up when it's time to take prescription meds, and a PPE-mask-distributing, announcement-making, app-controlled robot. Students are provided with hardware (Adafruit CircuitPlayground Bluefruit, Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect, and Raspberry Pi 3A+) as well as additional components (programmable LED light strips, speakers, buttons, potentiometers, sensors, etc). However, components are low-cost and could be purchased. A list of possible components is at: Videos used in the course are regularly released at