Let's Go Adruino! How to get started.

If you're interested in bringing coding or making or both into your classroom, you should definitely get started with Arduino.

With a very small investment, you can get started. Here's an Amazon shopping list with the components I've used to build my Arduino on the Road kit.

With just a little bit of training, my students have used Arduino to make art projects, museum exhibits, and robots coding in C++. 


  1. Arduino Uno board (or fake Arduino Uno board)
  2. Breadboard
  3. Jumper wires
  4. LEDs
  5. 220 Ohm resistors
  6. Computer (Mac, Windows, Linux preferred). If you have a chromebook, we can still get you started. 

Get your computer ready

MacOS, Windows, Linux

  1. Register with Arduino
  2. Download the arduino Web Editor Plugin 
  3. Launch the Arduino Web Editor
  4. Bring up the code: Examples > Basics > Blink


  1. Get the Codebender App
  2. Go to edu.codebender.cc
  3. Do the things Codebender tells you to do
  4. The free EDU version allows you to write up to 30 lines of code. For $10 / month you can expand this. The Arduino organization says they're working on a Chromebook solution, as of the last time I've edited this, it hasn't launched yet. 

Set up the board

Set up your board following the drawing below. To protect your hardware, please observe the following tips.

  • Only wire the Arduino while the board is plugged into a computer, battery, or wall outlet. 
  • Always use recommended resistors when connecting peripherals such as LED lights, buttons, and actuators. In this project, I like to make sure I am forcing the current to the LED by crossing the gutter along the middle of the breadboard. 

Power up your board

Connect your Arduino to your computer using a USB cord. You'll need to declare that you're using an Arduino Uno board (even if you're using the generic board I suggest). Also choose the port. If you have an option, look for the port that includes the letters USB. If you only have one option, choose that one. 

Check out your code

  Turns on an LED on for one second, then off for one second, repeatedly.

  Most Arduinos have an on-board LED you can control. On the UNO, MEGA and ZERO 
  it is attached to digital pin 13, on MKR1000 on pin 6. LED_BUILTIN is set to
  the correct LED pin independent of which board is used.
  If you want to know what pin the on-board LED is connected to on your Arduino model, check
  the Technical Specs of your board  at https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Products
  This example code is in the public domain.

  modified 8 May 2014
  by Scott Fitzgerald
  modified 2 Sep 2016
  by Arturo Guadalupi
  modified 8 Sep 2016
  by Colby Newman

// the setup function runs once when you press reset or power the board
void setup() {
  // initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.

// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, HIGH);   // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
  delay(1000);                       // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(LED_BUILTIN, LOW);    // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
  delay(1000);                       // wait for a second

The first part of this code is merely documentation to help explain what's happening. The part beginning with "void setup" declares that pin

Compile and upload

Want to learn more? Arduino offers more detailed instructions, and gives you options to take your learning to the next level. 

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