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NerdKits Newsletter Archives » NerdKits Newsletter #2 - Microcontrollers in the Classroom

July 30, 2009
by mrobbins
(NerdKits Staff)

mrobbins's Avatar

This newsletter was released on June 4, 2009.

Hi! This is the second edition of the NerdKits newsletter, where we keep you updated about all the goings-on at NerdKits.

In this issue:

  1. NerdKits team teaches at Friends' Central School
  2. YouTube review by dylanjkj1997
  3. Special thanks to outstanding forum contributor


On May 26-27th, the NerdKits team took a road trip down to Philadelphia, PA to teach at Friends' Central School using NerdKits. We took the NerdKits into four Junior/Senior level high school physics sections, and over the two days went over (and built) a simplified version of the Piezoelectric Sound Meter ( We were very happy to see the students enjoy working with the NerdKits, despite the limited time we had to work with them. We used the first day to talk about the single transistor amplifier, and the students were able to build and test their own. On the second day, we did a quick overview of the code, and the students programmed a microcontroller to interface with their analog amplifier and light up 0-4 LEDs based on the sound level in the room.

Click this link to see photos from the trip:

Although we presented many new concepts in a short period of time, the students were able to see first-hand how to transform the analysis-oriented skills they had learned over their physics studies into synthesis-oriented engineering skills. We hope it benefited the students to work with real microcontrollers and get some experience working with this technology.

This trip was part of our initiative to get NerdKits more exposure in schools, where we feel we can inspire budding young minds that are waiting for something to explore, as well as supplement high school curriculums that may lack a good hands-on aspect to help solidify the concepts. If you know a Physics or Computer Science teacher that might be interested in integrating NerdKits into their classroom, tell them about our website, and have them contact us at!


NerdKits Gets 9/10

User dylanjkj1997 posted a great YouTube review of the USB NerdKit. His review goes over all the major components of the kit and addresses the benefits of learning about microcontrollers with a NerdKit. From a personal stand point, we were very happy to watch this review as it validates the effort that we have put into making NerdKits a truly useful educational experience. Thanks, Dylan, for the fantastic review, and we are very glad you are enjoying your NerdKit.

Here are the links to Dylan's review (3 parts):

Dylan also made some modifications that he found to be useful, like adding a power switch, a solid base for the entire unit, and rechargeable AA batteries, so even if you already have a kit, this might give you some good ideas.

If you decide to post your own review on your blog / YouTube channel / etc., please let us know!


We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has helped make our forums such a great success. It is great to see NerdKits community members helping each other and sharing ideas.

This month, we would like to recognize one member who has gone above and beyond to help other users on our forum. We would like to recognize user Wayward as an outstanding contributor to the forums and thank him for helping make the NerdKits community what it is. We will be sending Wayward an extra "Build Your Own Project Pack" for his USB NerdKit, which includes a breadboard, MCU, and crystal as a token of our appreciation.

Again, thanks to all community participants, and we hope to recognize others in the future.


Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for being such great customers. We recently added South Korea, Singapore, and Malta to our list of countries with NerdKits customers -- 33 in all! Make sure you tell your friends and neighbors about NerdKits so we can keep America's DIY spirit alive!

Best wishes,

Humberto & Mike
NerdKits, L.L.C.

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