For the past three months, Arkansas State engineering students across three disciplines have been engaged in a design challenge using the Arduino UNO microprocessor.
The challenge gives freshman students an open-ended problem statement and allows them to take advantage of the Arduino UNO's coding versatility to design the solution to and the remaining parameters of the challenge.
"Gov. [Asa] Hutchinson has an initiative out there. He's clearly stated that he wants to see a refocusing of education at all levels in this state on computers, computer programming and coding, computer engineering and just an emphasis on modern technology and the use of computers, and this is our answer to the governor's initiative," Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Paul Mixon said. "We wanted all the students to have a common experience with something that we felt challenged them and would be exciting."
Mixon said the challenge has been a good educational tool because it forces students to work in a multi-disciplinary, team-based environment. It's part of an introductory course called Concepts of Engineering that was developed by civil engineering program director Jason Steward over the last 14 years.
This semester's overall winners of the Arduino competition were freshmen engineering majors Timothy Bevill, Stewart Fey, Thomas Ragland and Merle Young.