Girls Who Code collaborates with QWISE for an Arduino workshop


Bonnie Liu

Freshmen Sabina Gupta and Krishma Perry work together on an Arduino project.

Girls Who Code club members attended the Arduino workshop hosted by Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering on Saturday, October 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform founded by the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute that can be used through software and hardware for fast prototyping. Users can send a set of instructions written in the Arduino coding language to the microcontroller on the Arduino board.

The Arduino kit was originally suggested and recommended to QWISE treasurer and instructor Iliana Fujimori Chen. Through some interfaces with the Arduino kit, QWISE chose the Arduino kit to become the main platform for their workshops.

“The Arduino kit has so many purposes from learning to actually using it, which is why I think it is an important tool to learn,” Chen said.

This Arduino workshop focused mainly on LED lights and circuits. The circuits on the Arduino Board were connected to a computer where users could code and vary how the circuits functioned. Through collaboration with their partners, club members worked to complete a project based on the color and application of LED lights.

“I loved the workshop,” Larson said. “Arduino is a circular program, and we had to use the different wires and everything related to circuits to create a project. I’m really glad I came.”

Larson’s personal favorite was the “Love-O-Meter” project. A thermometer sensor was connected to the kit along with different flashing lights. The hotter a student’s hand, the more lights would go off.

Another project was the “Just Color Light Lamp.” The goal was to combine the colors, red, blue and green together in the same LED light. The girls had to set up the Arduinos in a way where the colors would come together as more than one color.

“Our club kind of built on each other with this experience,” Larson said. “You get the sense of software and hardware in the computer industry while being with your friends.”

GWC plans on having more opportunities with companies in order to expand on their experience at the recent QWISE Arduino workshop. A follow-up workshop will most likely be with Qualcomm and QWISE as well for the majority of the GWC members enjoyed the workshop.

“The main thing is for the girls to learn the basics but also to learn that they enjoy doing this kind of thing,” Chen said. “I want to inspire other women to seek careers in STEM. I had no clue what electrical engineering was, but after I learned what it was, I now have enjoyed it in all my twenty years of working as a circuit designer to a program manager.”[wowslider id=”1″]