The Toyota Financial Services (TFS) Business Technology Services Corporate Services Team recently visited the Boys & Girls Club of Carson to expose students to a unique type of software coding. Unique because in this case, the software is used to control objects in the real world. Being able to see, touch, and interact with a software-powered creation is an exciting way to build a student’s interest in technology and potentially drive them to consider technology-based careers.
The project overview was simple — demonstrate how code works, show them where to get sample code, then let them roll up their sleeves and get busy creating code with TFS volunteer support. The goal of the project was to change the speed of the blinking red LED on a circuit. Students learned to build circuits, download the sample code, modify the code, and play with the circuits to see the effects on the blinking light. While this is a simple idea, it is a powerful and nearly limitless platform.
All of the students worked industriously, and TFS volunteers were delighted with the level of engagement shown by all. A special moment occurred when one diligent student was unable to light her LED. The volunteers stepped in to troubleshoot and eventually learned that it the LED bulb wasn’t functioning. Time was running out but eventually she was able to push the button on the screen that transferred her code to her Arduino board and her LED bulb lit up. The volunteers could see a light bulb going off in the student’s head, and her smile was something difficult to put into words.
It’s very rewarding when you see that type of emotion and passion for learning, and the volunteer team is looking forward to their next opportunity to share their knowledge with local students.