Sometimes there’s a skill or content area you want your students to have, but it doesn’t represent a full course’s worth of material. Or, it’s an as-you-need-it skill to apply to a particular project or situation. Already utilized in several disciplines, the pop-up course is just as applicable to physics education.
The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has prototyped a number of pop-ups that bring skills to students. Need your students to gain basic electronic assembly skills? Build Arduino-based projects? Learn a 3D CAD program? A short, one- to few-day experience may be all you need to achieve the learning goals. Taught outside of the “usual” course structure, pop-ups let you enhance student learning without, necessarily, complicating course scheduling and teaching loads.
Activity DescriptionShort intro course on Arduinos
- Students gain familiarity with microprocessors and electronic components
- Students learn simple coding in hard typed compiled language
- Students learn (in second session) control of higher power devices
120 - 180 Minutes
Sophomore physics majors or higher; no prior electronics or coding
Suggested context for implementation
Could be associated with any electronics or laboratory course, or introduction to makerspaces using arduinos.