Programming, Soldering, & Alien Artifact Project - 1-on-1 w/ Curtis
You can be a 'user' of electronics, or you can become a creator. Start exploring soldering, power, and Arduino to learn what goes into creating the devices we use every day.
These classes are great to take with a friend in your bubble for a fun project experience, or to grow your skills for unique and interesting projects.
How It Works
Schedule your 1-on-1 session to grow your electronics knowledge, and if you're a member, become Hacker Lab certified to use our electronic studio 24/7. Not a member yet? Explore a free tour).
Curtis offers some amazing hardware programming classes geared for absolute beginners. When selecting your ticket, simply choose which class you'd like to take.
Curtis can teach you (click to jump to description):
- Programming for Absolute Beginners with the Circuit Playground Express
- Basic Soldering for Electronics
- Project:Make a Glowing Alien Artifact
Please be aware: due to the nature of the 1-on-1 sessions, we have a 48 hour cut-off for scheduling - you must schedule your session at least 48 hours ahead of the session. Our normal cancellation policy of 48 hours advanced notice also applies.
New in May: Double Trouble Twosome-Tickets! We've added tickets for twosomes! Parent + child (15yo+), partners, couples, or BFFs that just live together. Sign up for a Twosome-Ticket if you and someone in your bubble want to take the class together. Please, no unaccompanied minors.
See below for the overviews of what each class covers:
Programming for Absolute Beginners with the Circuit Playground Express
|Member Twosome Ticket||$125|
|Non-Member Twosome Ticket:||$160|
Do you want to get started with programming for electronics projects but have absolutely zero experience with either of those things? If so, this is the perfect class for you.
This class uses Adafruit's Circuit Playground Express alongside Microsoft's MakeCode block-based programming language to introduce programming and hardware concepts in a super accesible yet powerful way.
From beginners to experts, Circuit Playground Express has something for everyone. You can program the same board in 3 different ways - the Express has great value and re-usability. We'll cover Basic digital electronics, how to spin up and test the Circuit playground express kit, programming basics via CircuitPython and MakeCode, and test what you've learned with some programming challenges.
Here's some of the great goodies baked in to each Circuit Playground Express:
- 10 x mini NeoPixels (individually controllable multi-color LEDs)
- 1 x Motion sensor (LIS3DH triple-axis accelerometer with tap detection, free-fall detection)
- 1 x Temperature sensor (thermistor)
- 1 x Light sensor (phototransistor). Can also act as a color sensor and pulse sensor.
- 1 x Sound sensor (MEMS microphone)
- 1 x Mini speaker with class D amplifier (7.5mm magnetic speaker/buzzer)
- 2 x Push buttons, labeled A and B
- 1 x Slide switch
- Infrared receiver and transmitter - can receive and transmit any remote control codes, as well as send messages between Circuit Playground Expresses. Can also act as a proximity sensor.
- 8 x alligator-clip friendly input/output pins
- Includes I2C, UART, 8 pins that can do analog inputs, multiple PWM output
- 7 pads can act as capacitive touch inputs and the 1 remaining is a true analog output
- Green "ON" LED so you know its powered
- Red "#13" LED for basic blinking
- Reset button
- ATSAMD21 ARM Cortex M0 Processor, running at 3.3V and 48MHz
- 2 MB of SPI Flash storage, used primarily with CircuitPython to store code and libraries.
- MicroUSB port for programming and debugging
- USB port can act like serial port, keyboard, mouse, joystick or MIDI
What to bring & important information
- We will provide the Circuit Playground kit for use during the class, however they can be purchased from Adafruit's Website as well.
- Please bring your own laptop for use during the class.
Basic Soldering for Electronics
|Member Twosome Ticket||$125|
|Non-Member Twosome Ticket:||$160|
Made an electronics project but want it to be a bit more permanent? Breadboard starting to look like a bird's nest? Solder is your friend.
Take this class to learn the basics of through-hole soldering. Beginners are welcome!
This class covers the basics of through-hole soldering including setup, using solder wick and solder suckers, and preventing cold-joints.
This is a hands on class: attendees will assemble a small PCB based project by soldering on through-hole components.
- Safety when soldering
- What a soldering iron is
- What solder wick is, solder suckers are, and why you'll definitely need them at some point
What to bring & important info
- All equipment and materials needed for this class will be provided for you.
- This class serves as the certification class for the soldering stations in our electronics lab.
Build your own Glowing Alien Artifact
|Member Twosome Ticket||$160|
|Non-Member Twosome Ticket:||$240|
Take your skills to the next level with this intensive multi-skill build session and walk away with a sweet looking laser cut prop with animated lights and sound.
Open to beginners but also great for those who have already taken Programming for Absolute Beginners.
This class will cover the entire design life cycle touching on each of the following themes:
- Computer based design tools to digitally construct our artifact
- Physical measurement and prepping of materials used in creating the artifact
- Design selection of patterns/templates you can utilize to further customize your artifact
- Using the Laser Cutter and getting hands on experience utilizing the laser cutter
- Assembly/Gluing/Sanding - basic hand assembly of the individual components to achieve the desired shape/form
- Basic electronics overview - I'll provide an overview of the Circuit Playground Micro-controller hardware and features while the glue dries on your artifact
- Test device - We'll power up the device and look for status indicators
- Test USB - verify the device connects to your computer and establish communication with the device
- Intro to Programming with CircuitPython and MakeCode (internet required) - How to use browser based and block editing/programming, no prior coding experience required
- Programming of this device can be accomplished with any computer or chromebook (Apple, PC or Linux) with USB and a web browser. No additional software is required (but some windows drivers may be required)
- Stretch goal - depending on how far the class gets, we can add software functionality to make the glowing cube be sound activated and include sound FX -- imagine an alien artifact that you can activate with a clap!
- Working with Laser Cutter
- Programming on Arduino / Micro-controller
- Block programming for easier programming
- Work with Neopixel LED's
- Learn basics of working with Python
- Assembling finished project
What to bring:
- Please bring your own laptop if you have one. Otherwise, computers are available at Hacker Lab if they are needed.
- The materials fees for this class are included in the price.
- This is a family-friendly class - perfect for a child (15yo+) and parent to attend together!
- This class does not certify members to use Hacker Lab's laser cutter for there own projects. Please take the Intro to Lasercutting class if you goal is to get certified on the lasers.
Important information for all classes:
- Please make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early and sign our general release of liability agreement.
- Masks must be worn correctly while inside the facility.
- Do not come into the Lab if you have a cough, fever, or feel sick in the past 14 days.
- While electronics projects aren't particularly messy, the makerspace is a shop and thus full of wonderful ways to get stains and dirt on your clothes. Please dress appropriately, wear closed-toed shoes, tie back loose or long hair, and don't wear anything you don't mind getting a bit dirty.