Introduction to Arduino: Creating Interactive Projects

Mark Frauenfelder, Author | Maker | Founder, MAKE & Boing Boing

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10 Videos (51m)
    • Trailer

    • What Is the Arduino?

    • What Do You Need?

    • Installing and Connecting Your Arduino

    • Blink Rates

    • Blink Rates with Components

    • Knobs and Potentiometers

    • Servos

    • Speaker Tones

    • What's Next?


About This Class

When designer Massimo Banzi created the Arduino in 2005, he had no idea that his tiny, open-source microcontroller would spark a revolution.

Today, thousands of non-engineers have created amazing projects, interactive experiments, and clever fixes using this simple piece of hardware.

In this Skillshare class, Mark Frauenfelder, founder of Boing Boing and MAKE magazine, shows you how to get started with a few simple Arduino projects, giving you the confidence and skill to begin experimenting with projects on your own!

No knowledge of programming, engineering, or electronics is necessary, and everyone is welcome. The class focuses on hardware to get you using the board right away.

The best way to learn is by doing, and the best way to dream is to dream big. Use this class to kick off your Arduino skills. Join the DIY revolution.

What You'll Do

In one hour, Mark guides you through the Arduino hardware components, software installation, and five beginner-level experiments.

  • Introduction. Get acquainted with the Arduino, research fascinating projects, and gather materials for getting started.
  • Installation. Follow a clear, step-by-step demonstration to install, connect, and configure your Arduino.
  • Experiments I. Try out three simple projects that let you explore how different inputs affect blinking-light outputs.
  • Experiments II. Experiment with motion and sound outputs using a servo motor and tiny simple speaker.
  • Creative Projects. Research ways to develop more projects that make your day a little easier, interesting, or fun.

What You'll Make

  • Deliverable. Set up 5 simple Arduino experiments using light, motion, and sound outputs, and share your success in the discussion and community forums.
  • Brief. Learn by doing, following Mark's step-by-step instructions and jumping directly into working with Arduino hardware and electrical components. Make minor modifications to programming, lights, and more to study the effects of inputs on outputs, and build a skills foundation for creating exciting future projects using Arduino.
  • Specs. Share your experiments in the way that makes the most sense for others to learn and share feedback. Consider drawings, diagrams, descriptions, photographs, videos, or code.

Interested in More?

For a broad overview of making, also check out Mark's complementary class, Introduction to DIY: Becoming a Maker.

45 of 46 students recommendSee All

Really great kickstart into Arduino. You get to see results fast, but basically you are just following along, not learning too much just getting comfortable and sometimes a flashing led is all you need to let you know you are on the right track!
Nathan Hackett

Australian Creative Director based in SF

Good introduction to arduino! I'd also recommend getting the arduino starter kit from vilros on amazon (
This is a very basic orientation for someone new to Arduino. It does that job well.





Mark Frauenfelder

Author | Maker | Founder, MAKE & Boing Boing

Mark Frauenfelder is the founding editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, the founder of Boing Boing, and the editor-in-chief of He was an editor at Wired from 1993-1998, the founding editor of, and is the author of seven books. His latest book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Anti-Gravity Jars and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects.

As a maker of things, Mark has built cigar box guitars, skateboards, electronic musical instruments, chicken coops, kinetic sculptures, and robotic monkeys that keep cats from jumping on furniture. He has conducted workshops that teach people how to make sauerkraut, program Arduino microcontrollers, solder circuit boards, build vibrating toothbrush cars, and construct mandolins from tuna cans.

Mark is also an artist and designer, and his work has appeared in group and solo gallery exhibitions throughout the United States. He designed Billy Idol's "Cyberpunk" CD cover, video box, and print advertisements. 

He has appeared on The Colbert Report (twice) and the Martha Stewart Show, and has written for The New York Times MagazineThe AtlanticPopular ScienceBusiness WeekThe Hollywood ReporterWired, and other national publications.

He lives in Los Angles with his wife, Carla Sinclair, and his two DIY daughters.