For CSIS 495 (Interactive and Generative Art) I wanted to create a workshop for the students that introduces them to the core concepts of the Arduino platform (writing code, uploading to board, constructing the circuit, etc) in a simple and effective way. To me the key was to figure out a project which requires few parts and fewer things that can go wrong, but still have a highly rewarding outcome for the students.
While doing a bit of research for this workshop, I came across the following two articles to base my workshop off of:
The result was a simple musical instrument based on a linear SoftPot for input, the Arduino for processing and an 8 ohm speaker for output. Its capable of making some really satisfying 8-bit-esque noises and is highly extensible – hopefully students will not find this too challenging, so I have a nice stash of pots (axial and sliders), buttons, switches, and microphones they can use to go beyond the basic instrument that they are expected to make.