Workshops for Kids

Want to give your child a leg up in the world? they can Learn advanced technology concepts while having fun with these workshop tracks:

  • Video Games

Make a video game with you and your friends as the main characters.  Then, make your own wireless video game controller- What kind of power move would you have? Maybe you want to sew a video controller for your game into your backpack, purse or jacket? Should we focus more on animation, plot development or just making sure your characters can pick up lots of cool bonuses? The decision is up to you since it’s your video game or animation! In this workshop track students learn how to make video games and animations using either drag and drop programming with Scratch or JAVA. How far it goes depends on the interest of the participant.

  • Robots

These workshops are an introduction to electrical circuits, microcontrollers (robot brains), sensors, actuators and how robots work. A broad introduction to the world of Physical Computing, beeps, boops and LEDs. Possible additional topics include soldering, rework, sonar, LCD and motor driver, as well as wireless communication.

  • Artistic Technology

Activate both sides of your brain at once as you pursue an artistic project of your choosing! Do you want to embed LEDs into your glasswork? Maybe you want to build an interactive theatric prop? Do your purses or neckties need LEDs? Or wings for a costume that flap? A mural that plays MP3s when you touch different parts- these are just a small selection of the possibilities.

  • Communication for Kiddos

Kids can learn advanced technology concepts by creating interactive communication networks. How do these embedded game system interact and communicate with the world around us? What can we learn by creating our own wireless network and input/output devices? How does the testing of the network we create in class effect your redesign for more effective communication?

  • Outside Events

Looking to run an obstacle course that teaches computer programming concepts? Or possibly you want to arrange a treasure hunt to teach cartesian plotting and robot logic- these are some examples of the energetic activities I have created to teach technology concepts to kids of all ages.

 

Whatever your area of interest, pursue it today by emailing me-

LinzeeCraig at gmail.com

Other workshop offerings for kids:

  • Scratch for Kids

Interested in helping your child learn how to program? Start them learning as young as the age of seven with the fun and intuitive programming environment called Scratch. Students will use drag and drop programming to create an animated character that moves around when they press keys as well as discover other fun things to program in Scratch.

Details about Scratch are available at http://scratch.mit.edu.

Prerequisites- none
Length- 4 – 7 hours
Suggested age- 7 – 14
Cost- $20 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Scratch for Kids 2 Day Workshop

Interested in helping your child learn how to program? Start them learning as young as the age of seven with the fun and intuitive programming environment called Scratch. Students will use drag and drop programming to create an animated character that moves around when they press keys as well as an introduction to video game coding. What video game is complete without some bad guys, bonuses and storyline? In this two day workshop students will create a basic video game or application the first day and flesh out their project the second day by adding levels, a point system, graphic user interfaces or sound. On the second day students will also plug sensors called Picboboards into their computers and integrate them into their scratch projects. 

Details about Scratch are available at http://scratch.mit.edu.

Details about the Picoboard are available at http://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html

Prerequisites- none
Length- not to exceed 14 hours
Suggested age- 7 – 14
Cost- $20 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Scratch with Picoboard

Interested in helping your child learn how to program? Start them learning as young as the age of seven with the fun and intuitive programming environment called Scratch. Students will use drag and drop programming to create an animated character that moves around when they press keys as well as an introduction to video game coding. Students will create a basic video game or application and flesh out their project by adding a point system, some sound or other possibilities. During this workshop students will plug sensors called Picboboards into their computers and integrate them into their scratch projects. 

Details about Scratch are available at http://scratch.mit.edu.

Details about the Picoboard are available at http://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html

Prerequisites- none
Length- not to exceed 14 hours
Suggested age- 7 – 14
Cost- $20 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

“Linz is a skilled, highly creative person who has an eye for what will and will not work in a classroom setting. His teaching style and class material set a high level of quality… Linz is respectful, trustworthy and will bend over backwards to see that the job gets done correctly.” 
Nathan Seidle, Founder & CEO of SparkFun Electronics

 

  • Introduction to Arduino

Go from blinking an LED to virtual prototyping in seven hours and still have time to eat lunch! This class is for anyone who has never played around with Arduino before and those who have played around a little bit but aren’t entirely sure about how the basics work. It’s easier than you think! We will put together basic single component electrical circuits, learn about analog and digital, input and output, basic programming concepts and practice very basic Serial communication. Students will create three simple circuits highlighting analog and digital forms of input and output. Get started with the Arduino programming environment, briefly discuss programming and virtual prototyping. I’ve taught this class far more times than I can remember, I tailor this class depending on the audience’s experience level and interests.

Details about Arduino are available at http://www.arduino.cc/.

Prerequisites- none
Length- 7 hours
Suggested age- 11 – 99 (flexible)
Cost- $30 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Schoolin’ with Booleans

All digital systems are based on boolean logic, a one and a zero, true or false, but how exactly does that work? This workshop explores Boolean Logic first through transistors based logic gates on a breadboard and the with Logic Blocks, an electronics teaching tool developed by SparkFun Electronics and I. Student will learn the basic concepts required to understand how chips, memory and oscillation work as well as working with the boolean gates NOT, OR and AND.

Prerequisites- none
Length- 4 – 7 hours
Suggested age- 11 – 99 (flexible)
Cost- $30 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

“The pace of the workshop was outstanding. Your analogies and examples helped clarify some topics that were difficult for me to grasp. It was obvious that you have teaching experience and used a variety of ways to explain these concepts. I enjoyed working through several of the circuits and the challenge of changing and modifying the code.” 
Eric Langhorst, 8th Grade American History Teacher, Educational Technology Presenter, 2012 Google Certified Teacher, 2012 Gilder Lehrman Missouri History Teacher of the Year, 2008 Missouri Teacher of the Year, Liberty, MI

 

  • Introduction to Processing

Learn the basics of computer programming with Processing, a programming environment that allows artists and designers to quickly create fun and interactive programing in Java and other programming languages! Because it’s Open and has a large community Processing allows beginners to get started quickly and has enough libraries that more advanced users can find code examples to pursue almost any concept, from video game design and internet connectivity to Android applications and hardware integrations. Come learn the basics of computer programming while making a simple character move around the screen. Depending on how much time we have we can even get into animation, importing images and other concepts.

Details about Processing are available at https://processing.org/.

Prerequisites- none
Length- 4 – 7 hours
Suggested age- 13 – 99 (flexible)
Cost- $30 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Serial Communication Between Arduino & Processing

Have you ever wanted to control a robot from your laptop or desktop computer? Then this workshop is for you. We’ll click on a button on our computer screens and light up an LED or move a servo for starters! Then we’ll move a slider on the screen and make some (horrible) electronics music through a buzzer! Once you learn the basics the possibilities are endless. In this workshop you will learn how to make very basic Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs) that interact with an Arduino microcontroller and sensors.

Details about Processing are available at https://processing.org/.

Details about Arduino are available at http://www.arduino.cc/.

Prerequisites- Introduction to Arduino and Introduction to Processing
Length- 4 – 7 hours
Suggested age- 13 – 99 (flexible)
Cost- $30 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Bluetooth Communication Between Arduino & Processing

Learn how to use and configure Bluetooth to talk between your computer and a robot! Send commands from a Graphical User Interface program to a microcontroller with sensors or actuators nearby. We will do things like send AT commands to the Bluetooth unit to establish the speed of communication, light up LEDs, use the Bluetooths to control the position of a servo. We will also discuss how to configure Bluetooth parameters themselves over Bluetooth Serial communication.

Details about Processing are available at https://processing.org/.

Details about Arduino are available at http://www.arduino.cc/.

Prerequisites- Introduction to Arduino and Introduction to Processing, Serial Communication Between Arduino & Processing
Length- 7 hours
Suggested age- 13 – 99 (flexible)
Cost- $30 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Make a Giant Functional Breadboard & Components

Learn exactly how a breadboard works by creating a functional 10X breadboard and components. Great for use as a teaching tool in the classroom, based on a design by Mike Hord and the Twin Cities Maker. Students can create either a full size breadboard complete with center ravine and power rails or students can create a smaller half size breadboard. Giant components I have created include- Resistors, capacitors, dials (or trimpots), LEDs, photoresistors, buttons, an ATMega 328P PTH chip, a piezo buzzer and a battery.  If you’re really into this stuff we can go as far as creating giant functional chips as well as the other components.

Prerequisites- None
Length- 4 – 7 hours
Suggested age- 11 – 99
Cost- $20 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. PCB milling, workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Plated Through Hole Soldering

This workshop will cover the basics of through hole soldering, also known as plated through-hole soldering (PTH), discuss the tools needed, go over techniques for proper soldering and show you where you can go from there. We will also discuss rework as it pertains to through-hole soldering and give you some tips and tricks that will make fixing almost any piece of electronics a breeze. This workshop can be for beginners and experts alike. Whether you’ve never touched an iron before or are looking for a little refresher, this workshop has a little something for everyone.

Prerequisites- None
Length- 2- 5 hours
Suggested age- 7 – 99 (flexible)
Cost- $30 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Computer Programming & Robotics Activities for Recess

Kids need to get their energy out- computer programming and prototyping are great skills but it’s not good for them to spend all their time in front of a screen! Kinesthetic activities are a great way to learn basic computer programming concepts while moving around. I have created five different activities that effectively teach core computer programming and robotics concepts through physical activities on the recess playground or fields. Concepts covered include- Actuators and sensors, sensor readings and data resolutions, serial communication variables and code iteration.

Prerequisites- None
Length- 3 – 7 hours
Suggested age- 11 – 99
Cost- $20 an hour for the first student, $10 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.

 

  • Curriculum Buffet (Design Your Own Curriculum)

Don’t see what you want? I specialize in specialization! Let me know what it is you want to learn. We’ll spend some time before the first workshop day deciding on the skills and concepts you wish to focus on to realize your goal. I’ve create a lot of curriculum over the years and I’ve taught to a wide variety of skills levels, cultures and ages, I relish the opportunity to create a customized experience for my students. Let me know what you find exciting about technology (for example- video games, robots, art, sensors, wireless, magnets, etc.) and what other subjects you are interested in combining with technology and we’ll figure out the best way for you to pursue that passion!

Prerequisites- None
Length- n/a
Suggested age- 11 – 99
Cost- $30 an hour for the first student, $25 an hour for each additional student. Plus hardware costs. Workshop setup and breakdown is included for no additional fee.