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UC Davis Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) --- Research and Outreach
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Summer Workshop

Due to social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, C-STEM Professional Development will be conducted remotely.

Summer Workshop on Arduino and Sensor-Based Robotics

This workshop provides professional development for K-14 teachers on electronic circuits, sensors, and their applications with robotics and physical computing. Using ChArduino, RoboBlockly, and ChIDE, participants will gain first-hand experience working with robotic sensors and building advanced sensor-based robotics systems.

If you have no prior computer programming experience, we recommend that you attend the C-STEM 1-Week Institute on Integrated Computing and STEM Education before attending this workshop.

Due to COVID-19, this workshop will take place over 5 three-hour online sessions during summer 2020.

Attendees will  learn:

  • Classroom-friendly robotics and making technologies and how to bring them to classroom or after school programs.
  • Programming existing Linkbots using RoboBlockly and Ch/C/C++ for more effective teaching and learning robotics, computing, science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • Working principles of various sensors for physical computing and how to integrate them into Linkbot using Arduino for sensor-based robotics.
  • Building circuitry using a breadboard for Arduino.
  • ChDuino for tinkering with the general purpose input/output pins on Arduino board.
  • Integrated learning of Arduino for problem solving with the same wiring C functions such as pinMode(), digitalRead(), and digitalWrite().
  • Using GPIO pins on Arduino to integrate with and control hardware Linkbots
  • Working to close the achievement gap and preparing students to be college and career ready.
  • How to use the textbook “Learning Physical Computing with Arduino for the Absolute Beginner” to teach the following middle and high school courses in the C-STEM Math-ICT Curriculum:
    • Introduction to Physical Computing and Making
    • Physical Computing with Arduino (one semester)
  • A range of ideas for interfacing various robot sensors in the classroom using Windows and Mac.
    • Color Sensor
    • Short Distance IR Distance Sensor
    • RGB LED Module
    • Ultrasonic Range Sensor
    • IR Range Sensor
    • Light Sensor
    • Line Following Sensor
    • Touch Sensor
    • Accelerometer
  • Sensor-based robotics applications, including:
    • Line following
    • Light following
    • Obstacle avoidance
    • Robot chasing
    • Robot responding to light and sound
    • Distance finding
  • How to use Arduino and Robot Sensors with Linkbot
  • Strategies and project ideas for teaching advanced sensor-based robotics.
  • Integrating creative writing, story-telling, art, music, film production with math, programming, and robotics with a final product for RoboPlay Video Competition into Career Technical Education (CTE).
  • Participants will learn how to use the textbook “Sensor Based Robotics”  to teach the following middle and high school courses in the C-STEM Math-ICT  Curriculum:
    • Robotic Technologies (one year)
    • Principles and Design of Cyber-Physical Systems (the capstone course)


In order to participate in this workshop, participants must have the following:

  • A Laptop running Windows XP or higher or Mac OS 10.10  or higher is necessary during the training. Please bring a laptop with you for participation in the workshop. Therefore, you can bring home all free teaching resources.
  • You need to download and install the latest C-STEM Studio version from our downloads page prior to your arrival on the day of training.

You must have administrative privileges on the laptop to install software.


  • Cost: $400 / teacher. Space is limited. Check our Professional Development schedule and register soon to reserve your spot.
  • Registration covers instruction and teaching materials. Other meals, transportation, and lodging are not included.
  • Participants will receive:
    • “Learning Physical Computing with Arduino for the Absolute Beginner” pdf-copy textbook
    • “Sensor Based Robotics” pdf-copy textbook
  • Attendees will receive a certificate of recognition as a C-STEM Certified Educator.
  • Credits
    1. Optional  $145 for 2-4 Continuing Education Unit quarter credits from UC Davis Extension are available to participants of the full week.
    2. Certificate of Professional Development Credit hours upon training completion.

Testimonials from Participants of C-STEM 1-Week Workshop

The workshop was exhilarating!  It was awesome to see hardware connecting with software to make STEM come to life!

Thuy Alejandre, Buhach Colony High, Merced Union High School District

If you are interested in this workshop, please contact us.