Hofstra University’s Saturday Classes for Young People will bring back the Internet of Things class this Spring with new activities. This eight-session class, running from March 3 -May 18, is structured through discussions and exercises that become part of the larger project. This semester’s final project will be to build a weather station, where an app will give you an alarm if the weather is ideal for your favorite activity. Think: your phone alerting you of the perfect surf or weather for skateboarding.
Students in grades seventh through 12th can also look forward to rigging multicolored lights, allowing them to program switches to change different lights from a website. Other things they will learn include basic electronics, circuits, resistance, and power.
Instructor Barbara Compagnoni, a college professor, created this class because she has had fun playing with her nieces and nephews and wanted to see that joy in other students. “They wanted to build more. They had a lot of fun, they were getting their feet wet. I’m more excited to see what they’ll do now that they finished the class,” said Compagnoni.
To reach beyond the classroom experience, students have access to GitHub, a web-based computer coding service, and Cloud 9, an online development environment, so they can practice, exercise, and run their programs outside of the weekly two-hour session. Students will not only learn about the history, foundation and communication, but will put them into practice. It is recommended that students enter this class with foundation knowledge, which can be found in other classes like Intro to Web or Software Development.
Compagnoni likes to incorporate her own work into these classes, like hacking biometric trackers such as FitBit. Students are fascinated when she explains that technology can be related to mapping human emotions, like linking anxiety to ocean waves, according to Compagnoni. Compagnoni hopes her classes will teach students to think outside the box and will open their eyes towhat they can attain with technology they already have.
Main image: Hofstra Saturday Classes for Young People offers programming, game design, robotics, and more from fundamentals to precollegiate.
Courtesy Hofstra University Continuing Education