Get ready to dive into advanced electronics and programming projects with Level C!
Level C is the third of four planned levels in the Intro to Robotics series. Intro to Robotics is designed to start at the very beginning and systematically teach students electronics, programming, and then how to combine those skills to build a functional robot.
Along the way they will learn how to use common electrical components, read schematics, troubleshoot, and craft every line of computer code.
Teaching several students? Click here to purchase additional component kits.
Teaching a group of students in a classroom or co-op setting? Click here for institutional ordering and pricing information.
LEVEL C CURRICULUM AND KIT CONTENTS
660 page curriculum containing 18 step-by-step lessons (downloadable PDF file)
- Audio Amplifier x1
- USB Audio Adapter x1
- Microphone x1
- Camera Mount x1
- Camera Cable x1
- Camera x1
- Speaker x1
- Infrared Receiver x1
- Infrared Remote with Battery x1
- Transistors x4
- Relay Module x1
- Accelerometer x1
- Servo Motor x1
- Dual-Color LED 18mm x1
- Screwdrivers x2
LEVEL C SCOPE AND SEQUENCE
- Expand project flexibility with networking and remote access.
- Write Bash scripts and using Bash programming
- Use microphones, speakers, audio amplifiers, and audio software.
- Work with servo motors to add movement to projects.
- Multiple methods for gathering data from internet feeds and databases including API data access as well as how to use data in projects.
- Work with accelerometers and gyros to allow for multi-axis measurements in projects.
- Use relays to control high-powered devices.
- Create your own Graphical User Interface (GUI) using the popular module Tkinter to create a user-friendly interface for programs and display data.
- Build a web server using popular (free) server software packages like Bottle and Apache to add web page control to projects.
- Use a camera to gather data and see real-time events.
- Continue to improve troubleshooting skills for both electrical circuits and computer programs.
- Continue to gain the skills to independently tackle advanced projects found online.
After completing Level C, we recommend students continue the Intro to Robotics series:
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LEVEL C FAQ
Q. Neither my student or I have any experience with electronics, programming, or robotics. Where do we start?
All students should start with Level A which is designed to teach skills from the very beginning and requires no previous knowledge. Click here
to learn more.
Q. Does my student need to complete Levels A and B before starting Level C?
A. Yes. Please be sure your student completes Level A and Level B first. Level C builds on the skills learned in Levels A and B. Your student will also need the electrical components kits from Levels A and B to complete Level C.
Q. How many lessons are in Level C and how long does each lesson take?
A. There are 18 lessons and each lesson will take approximately 90-120 minutes to complete. We recommend aiming to complete 1-2 lessons per week. A single level will take 9-18 weeks to complete depending on lesson frequency.
Please note, the concepts in Level C are similar in complexity to those taught in Level B. Younger students should consider proceeding at a very slow pace, building in significant practice time.
Middle school students should aim to complete Levels A and B in 1+ school year and Levels C and D in 1-2 school years (we strongly encourage moving at your child's individual pace--there's plenty of time to complete all four levels!). Middle school students may also find it helpful to only complete Levels A and B in during middle school and save Levels C and D for high school.
High school students can aim to complete A-D over the course of a school year if desired. Extra time outside of lessons should be built in to allow the student to practice skills between lessons. We recommend high school students schedule 4-5 hours a week to complete all four levels in a single school year.
Adults can expect to spend approximately 15 hours completing Level A, 25 hours completing Level B, and 30 hours completing Level C. We anticipate Level D taking an adult 25-30 hours to complete.
Q. Can the curriculum be used by the student independently?
A. Yes, the Intro to Robotics curriculum is written directly to the student and assumes both student (and parent) have no background in electronics, programming, or robotics. How successful a student will be at self-teaching will depend on age, maturity level, and motivation of the student. In the event you have a younger or less mature student, we would encourage you to learn alongside your student.
Please note, all students should complete Level A and Level B prior to moving on to Level C.
Q. What if I have a question or run into a problem?
A. We are thrilled to help! Contact us via email and we will help you get back on the right track.
Q. Are technical updates to the curriculum available after purchase?
A. Yes! The Raspberry Pi operating system tends to change fairly regularly. Sometimes the changes are minor, such as moving a menu item, and sometimes the changes are major, such as fundamental changes to the operating system. Minor updates are posted to the curriculum resource page as soon as they are known and documentation is available (a link to the resource page is found in the curriculum). Major changes are incorporated into updates to the curriculum. We tend to release curriculum updates every few months. These updates are available to download via the curriculum download link you receive after placing your order.
Q. What should my student do after completing this course?
A. After a student completes Levels A-C, they will have electrical and programming skills (as well as a huge collection of parts) they can use to tackle most Raspberry Pi and Python based projects they find online. They will also be well positioned to independently expand their skills to a more niche level as their interests expand. Students wishing to learn to work with motors and a mobile platform should move on to Level D to continue their robotics education:
- Level D: Working with Motors and Taking it Mobile (December 2019)
- Using a motor drive circuit to drive motors
- Advanced troubleshooting practice
- Advanced Python commands
- CGI Scripting
- Assembling a mobile robot
Q. I'm only interested in my student being introduced to electronics and programming, does he or she need to complete all four levels?
A. While each level builds on the previous level, we have designed this course so a student can stop upon the completion of any level and still have solid, complementary skills in working both with electrical components as well as the most common Python coding commands. While we do recommend students continue to work through successive levels, we recognize that won't be appropriate for all students, and some students may be content with the skills and exposure gained in completing only one, two, or three levels.
Here are examples of the skill level a student can generally expect when using each level of our program:
Level A: A student will have beginner level electronics and coding skills as well as know how to use a Raspberry Pi. If the goal is to simply expose the student to electronics and coding, completing only Level A is likely to accomplish this goal.
Level B: A student will have intermediate level electronics and coding skills as well as a solid collection of components to use. This allows students to tackle many projects they find online.
Level C: A student will have advanced level electronics and coding skills as well as an extensive collection of components. They will be well equipped to tackle most projects they find online as well have a solid base of knowledge to continue to independently expand their skills to more niche-level topics and skills.
Level D: A student will have skills working with motors and motor drive boards as well as experience pulling a number of components together into a single project. This includes advanced level planning and troubleshooting skills. The student will also have had an opportunity to take previously learned coding skills and adapt them to working with a mobile platform--a significant challenge.
Q. Why does this program teach Python instead of a different programming language?
A. We teach Python for a several reasons:
- Python is currently the fastest growing computer language. Companies such as YouTube, Dropbox, Google, Quora, Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, and Yahoo Maps used Python to build their platforms. While programming languages tend to come and go over time, Python is well rooted and is likely to be a popular language for many years.
- Python is particularly well suited to beginners. The code is intuitive and easy to read. It also requires far fewer lines of code to accomplish tasks compared to other popular languages such as C++ and Java.
Q. Are the curriculum and kit reusable for other students in the family?
Yes! The contents of the kit and the curriculum are fully reusable for multiple students in the same family. The curriculum may not be resold or given away to another family. If teaching multiple students simultaneously, it may be helpful to purchase multiple component kits so each student has their own set but this is not required. Click here
to purchase an additional component kit. Schools and co-ops, please click here
for ordering and pricing information.
Q. Can I use this curriculum for high school credit for a home schooled student?
A. Yes, generally speaking, each level of the Intro to Robotics program is equivalent to 0.25 credit hours. So completing two levels would be equivalent to 0.5 credits and completing four levels would be equivalent to 1.0 credits. Please note, assigning credit to homeschooled students is dependent on your state's specific homeschooling laws, please consult them if you have questions.
Q. Will we need additional equipment?
A. In addition to this curriculum and the Level C parts kit purchased with it, you will need:
A Desktop Computer, Laptop, or Chromebook
- Must be connected to the home network via a wired or wireless connection (this can be the family’s regular computer as it will be used in networking lessons)
- Highly recommended to prevent damage to more sensitive equipment such as the Raspberry Pi camera; click here to find one at a bargain price.
Besides the items above, you’ll need the same items you have on hand from working through Levels A and B:
- Level A and Level B Curriculum and Component Kits
Computer Monitor (a television can also be used provided it has HDMI inputs, please note, a laptop computer will not work for this purpose)
HDMI cable (likely attached to your computer monitor)
- AA Batteries x2
Keyboard and Mouse
- Please use a wired keyboard and mouse if possible. Wireless models do not work reliably with the Raspberry Pi. Visit the Level A Resource List for a list of inexpensive keyboard and mouse options.
Internet access (wired or wireless)
- For this level of the course, internet access is required to download libraries and modules.
Q. How will I receive my order?
A. The PDF file containing the curriculum can be downloaded following purchase. The component kit will be mailed to you within a few business days.
We do not offer printed copies of the curriculum for several reasons:
- When reviewing concepts, students benefit greatly from being able to search the curriculum document for information about a skill they are working with.
- The technology students will be working with changes regularly and we typically update the curriculum every 2-3 months to assure students are working with the latest information. Sometimes the changes are significant (screen layout, menu options, procedures, etc.) It is advantageous for students to have access to this updated information via the electronic copy of the curriculum. We want them to keep moving forward with their lessons, not getting stuck and frustrated because a menu option changed.
- We want to save some trees and keep your cost down! Our program is lengthy and the book would not only be heavy to carry around, it's simply unnecessary to print it. All lessons can be read and completed with the file pulled up on a tablet, laptop or desktop.
- If you wish to print a full copy of the curriculum, we recommend The Homeschool Printing Company for their quality work and reasonable prices.