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Adafruit Launches Educational Show Aimed At Kids

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the hook-them-young dept.

Education 44

anavictoriasaavedra writes "Adafruit Industries just posted the first episode in a new educational series aimed at teaching kids about electronics. The episode is entitled 'A is for Ampere' and teaches the basic theory behind electrical current. The subject seems like a common one for A-to-Z themed electrical tutorials. And yes, that's Collin Cunnigham as André-Marie Ampère."

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"Literally" (3, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345713)

So what you're saying is... you're making a literal for the children argument. You're actually making something... for kids. Damn. This hasn't happened in months in this country. You go girl. The last "for the children" I heard involved guns. I'd rather have kids learning how to make drones, death robots, and sentient AI, because at least that shit takes talent! :)

Re:"Literally" (1)

SharpFang (651121) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345767)

Now, now, projecting and building a semiautomatic rifle from scratch takes considerable talent too.

Re: "Literally" (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43345907)

'A' is for Aim or Automatic or Amunition or Assault Rifle.

Re: "Literally" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346327)

Oh no, not assault rifles! Same killing power as a standard rifle but PAINTED BLACK WITH SCARY ATTACHMENTS LIKE IN THE MOVIES!

Pink hair, lip ring (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43345993)

and the glasses... was that Ada from Adafruit industries?

Re:Pink hair, lip ring (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346037)

Limor "Ladyada" Fried. She tends to be in most of their things. Somewhat like Jobs-led Apple or Musk-led Tesla, the company's public image is pretty heavily centered around the main person. In fact the company's "About" [adafruit.com] page isn't actually about anything else.

Re:Pink hair, lip ring (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346239)

and the glasses... was that Ada from Adafruit industries?

D'ya think?

Re:Pink hair, lip ring (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348221)

A is for Jeri Ellsworth? [youtube.com]

Re:Pink hair, lip ring (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348235)

Of course, reading the article may have helped..... (Thought it sounded familiar)

Let the ego-stroking commence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346097)

oh look, a woman is re-packaging common components and 1960's-style "About" electronics books. Yay. Oh, and did we mention she's a woman?

Re:Let the ego-stroking commence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346185)

Maybe if she got her tits out the videos would be worth watching.

Re:Let the ego-stroking commence (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346243)

oh look, a woman is re-packaging common components and 1960's-style "About" electronics books. Yay. Oh, and did we mention she's a woman?

She can't help being a woman any more than you can help being an idiot.

Re:Let the ego-stroking commence (1)

Going_Digital (1485615) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346287)

True, but nevertheless because geeks are predominately male it seems part of the following of Adafruit is just because it is a female geek running it that has some how managed to catch the popular wave.

Re:Let the ego-stroking commence (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346299)

Or maybe she gets a lot of hits because of the wavebubble and the arduino tutorials. I'd give good code to see the google-reference-stats to the adafruit sites.

Re:Let the ego-stroking commence (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347043)

True, but nevertheless because geeks are predominately male it seems part of the following of Adafruit is just because it is a female geek running it that has some how managed to catch the popular wave.

I'm sure it doesn't hurt, but maybe her site is popular because is has a good vibe, sells good/fun products and has good support for everything.

Or maybe you prefer Farnell's approach to selling electronic components...?

Re:Let the ego-stroking commence (1)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about a year and a half ago | (#43349189)

maybe her site is popular because is has a good vibe, sells good/fun products and has good support for everything.

Many Slashdotters seem to underestimate the importance of support and community. There are posts that criticize the CPU or memory of Arduino and Pi, but what you're getting with these is a lot of help with doing things. For me it's great using an Arduino/Pi combination just to get a nice graph of light level and temperature in my apartment when I'm traveling.

When I get some more stuff working I'll be able to sing "1, 2, 3, 4, 5.. sensors working overtime" <g>.

Must disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43350185)

The novelty value of a dream girl (at least for this EE) wears off fast.

Her focus, interest and efforts to educate are undeniably top-notch. It's a quality site. I buy electronics treats for my friends' kids at her site first, and then look elsewhere.

Re:Let the ego-stroking commence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346481)

Don't be a cunt.

The point still stands... because she is a woman, this gets notice.

for kids my !"£$£$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346119)

I'm 30 and I will watch it if I want to!

Annoying (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346279)

Why is this annoying? Not because it exist, because it wasn't around when I was younger. The closest my teachers ever got to an electrical circuit was turning on the light switch. I think it's about time we move basic electrical understanding down into the grade school level 1-8. By the time a student is in grade 8 they should at least understand the fundamentals of binary logic and be able to write a simple program using ASM or C, or another "teaching" language. I'm just pissed this wasn't around 15 years ago, This is something that should be a required section of courses in school, just like history, math and English ( granted my English is a little rough ).

Re:Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346449)

Kids were learning BASIC on TRS-80's (Model III) when I was in 6th grade...1982 I think.

circuit breaker "only for adults"? (3, Insightful)

pikine (771084) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346487)

I wish she hadn't said that only grown ups are allowed to touch the circuit breaker box. For most part the circuit breakers are designed to be remarkably safe. Only don't use a hammer to pound on them or try to insert blades or paper clips into the gap lines. Maybe a word of caution is that if the circuit breaker has dangling wires, or if it shows signs of poor construction or tampering, then even grown ups probably shouldn't mess with it. All of that could take just a few more seconds to explain.

I am of the opinion that if you keep teaching children like they were children, they would never grow up. You have to teach them like adults. Of course some people would disagree and say that in order to communicate effectively, you must target an age group. I would say take the element that makes communicating to that age group effective, and use it to improve communication to other age groups also. In the end, the most effective communication methods to all age groups converge into one, and target audience age group becomes a non-issue.

Re:circuit breaker "only for adults"? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346523)

I entirely agree with you

Re:circuit breaker "only for adults"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43346847)

My 6 year old daughter watched it this morning. I really want those to be "just for adults" because God knows what she'll turn off. Think about the generic case, not your specific case. Teaching kids at all is much better than teaching nothing.

Re:circuit breaker "only for adults"? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347073)

I wish she hadn't said that only grown ups are allowed to touch the circuit breaker box.

I can tell you've never seen what most kids do when they see a light switch (or any other on/off switch for that matter).

Re:circuit breaker "only for adults"? (2)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43350535)

I wish she hadn't said that only grown ups are allowed to touch the circuit breaker box. For most part the circuit breakers are designed to be remarkably safe.

The breakers themselves are remarkably safe (but see below) but what they control might not be. Want your young kids to be comfortable switching them on and off while you are working on the garbage disposal?

Or maybe people wouldn't mind their kids switching things off while your NAS is busy writing a file?

And then there is the actual possibility that a breaker carrying a big enough load could fail while being switched and there be an arc-flash that breaches the shell of the breaker?

In recent years there have been a number of reports of counterfeit circuit breakers out of China that made it into the distribution chain - for those that think it is impossible for a breaker to fail catastrophically while being switched under load...

It's best that children not switch breakers on and off. Ada was right. You are wrong.

Re:circuit breaker "only for adults"? (1)

pikine (771084) | about a year and a half ago | (#43352997)

Want your young kids to be comfortable switching them on and off while you are working on the garbage disposal?

Adults can accidentally kill other adults the same way if you don't post any warning signs on the circuit breaker that the particular circuit is being worked on. Why not focus on the correct safety instruction?

Or maybe people wouldn't mind their kids switching things off while your NAS is busy writing a file?

It's your fault that your NAS is not protected by UPS.

And then there is the actual possibility that a breaker carrying a big enough load could fail while being switched and there be an arc-flash that breaches the shell of the breaker?

In recent years there have been a number of reports of counterfeit circuit breakers out of China that made it into the distribution chain - for those that think it is impossible for a breaker to fail catastrophically while being switched under load...

These breakers will not be safe for adults either.

It's best that children not switch breakers on and off. Ada was right. You are wrong.

How childish of you to say that.

Re:Annoying (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346563)

This was around 15 years ago.

Computers and electricity have been a part of school curricula for at least 20 years now, and some schools have been incorporating meaningful computer instruction for 30 years. The issue is that very few teachers are capable of teaching this stuff.

I don't foresee this situation changing any time soon. The type of person who has a deep enough knowledge of electricity and programming to teach it effectively is rarely attracted to teaching at the primary level. The few who do make it usually discover why their peers never went into teaching.

That being said, there are a lot of excellent science and technology out of school programs out there. It is usually a better place to learn and teach about technology because the constraints of traditional schools aren't there.

Re:Annoying (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346685)

It could be in the school system but if the teachers can't teach it then fire them. I'm very jaded against teachers, at least up in Ontario it seems anyone can get a teaching degree, settle in and not really work a day in there lives for the rest of it. If this is in the school curriculum then teachers should either have to adapt to the current standard or leave.

I had horrible teachers growing up, they were under qualified, over religious and just plan morons. Most of the time I was teaching them and the rest I was getting headaches from trying to listen to the steaming crap coming out from them. There was one small course on electronics in grade 6 I remember where the teacher couldn't answer a single useful question, she taught it for 2 days and that was it. Probably one of the most useful courses ever taught but not taught well enough to count for anything. We also had computer courses which really just meant the teachers sat in the corner telling us totally incorrect facts about computer operating and structure.

So if this is in the school system and teachers can't teach it then fire them, a good teacher is worth 200k a year but most really deserve about 15k a year and that's pushing it.

Re:Annoying (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347827)

Radio Shack was the place to go for this kind of stuff decades ago. I bought "Getting Started in Electronics" handbook (in Forrest M. Mims IIIrd's signature style), when I was a kid. Sure, Radio Shack was expensive for parts but I wasn't building much. A bag or two of resistors and capacitors, the resistor color code cardboard "slide rule", and a few ICs. Ooh and the small white breadboard. Radio Shack was the place I proudly bought my first floppy disc ever (not the drive, the actual disc) for my Commodore 64. I worked a lot that summer to afford these toys.

Then when I discovered Active Electronics and Addison's surplus in Montreal's more industrial areas, I stopped buying so much at Radio Shack.

I built a RAM expander for my VIC-20 with parts from Active.

Radio Shack did carry various specialty ICs like the SPO-256 speech synthesizer, the plastic fiber optic transceiver kit, etc...

Oh sorry, I am woolgathering, what was my point? Oh yeah, this stuff was around decades ago. I'm pretty sure it was around a century ago as well if I go by the vintage radio ads from the 1910s onwards.

Re:Annoying (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347895)

Glad you clearly missed the point then, the entire thing I'm getting at is moving this kind "lesson" into the school system. Digikey was around years ago to, that doesn't mean schooling helped you make use of it, We need to move electronics down into the grade school system along with programming, these are essential skills for anyone to pick up.

Re:Annoying (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348007)

Well this video isn't being shown in schools so yeah, I missed your point... Kids don't exist just in schools. If anything, they exist far better out of school.

Re:Annoying (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348149)

But the schools need to making the push and getting kids active in to stuff, the school should start showing videos like this and start teaching relevant electronic's material, of course anything over the 1 hour of work the average teacher puts in a day would just kill them.

Re:Annoying (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43350597)

Oh come on. A school with one teacher who can intelligently teach electronics and programming is far ahead of one or two parents who know the stuff and take the time to teach their kids.

Get out of the "hate the schools" mind set.

Good show (1)

houbou (1097327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43346821)

Just watched it and I do believe that this is great for kids 4 and older.

Very up to date (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43347383)

Celebrity names may come and go, but Ampere's name will always be current.

Re:Very up to date (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43351671)

I'm shocked and re-volt-ed you said that.

CC plays AA, who plays CC? (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347899)

If Collin Cunnigham plays André-Marie AmpÃre, who will play Charles Coulomb?

Re:CC plays AA, who plays CC? (1)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#43347921)

Memo to self: Preview when copy-and-pasting with non-standard characters.

That was supposed to be Andr(e')-Marie Amp(e`)re, sort of.

Re:CC plays AA, who plays CC? (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348187)

Slashdot must be one of those few remaining places where the accented vowels are still a novelty...

Re:CC plays AA, who plays CC? (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year and a half ago | (#43351731)

Unicode. We've heard of it.

Is there a way to donate? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#43348543)

Best thing since Bill Nye! Where can I donate some cash to the cause?

Re:Is there a way to donate? (1)

tom17 (659054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43351679)

She just bought one of these: http://www.samsung-smt.com/product/product_view.asp?idx=6719#tabview2 [samsung-smt.com]

Now I don't know how much that bad boy costs, but I imagine they are doing OK in the cash department, though the gesture is commendable :)

Not accurate! (2)

Paleolibertarian (930578) | about a year and a half ago | (#43350465)

Amperes don't make electrons go. Voltage does that. Amperes is simply a measurement of the quantity of electrons flowing. I.E. 6.28 x 10^18 electrons past a certain point in one second = 1 Amp.

She should have shown the PIE chart.

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