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Awesome Shield

THE AT-HOME CODE SCHOOL FOR FUTURE INVENTORS

Everything you need to learn Arduino programming.
For kids aged 10-100.

Awesome Shield gives kids and the young at heart everything they need to get creative with Arduino and programming. Our online video lessons, custom made hardware, and easy to understand code take you on an exciting learning journey of coding, science, math, and discovery. You’ll learn how to program the Arduino and create your own inventions, while creating your own inventions and solving puzzles.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is a tiny, powerful computer. You can use it to build toys, games, gadgets, and robots – just about anything! Arduino is universally adored by teachers, artists and engineers.

Learning with Awesome Shield

Videos + Code + Hardware: Carefully Crafted for Learning

All the parts of Awesome Shield work together beautifully to make your learning journey easy to start, fun, and rewarding.

Your journey begins at the Awesome Shield learning website. Our step-by-step video series teach you about coding and Arduino. You write simple but real lines of code on your computer. Then, with the snap of a cable, and the click of a button, something amazing happens. The Arduino comes to life with light and sound. It uses its sensors to interact with you and the environment. Pretty soon you’re building projects, learning about science, math, and surprising yourself with what’s possible.

Learn to Invent

Fun projects you’ll build on your journey

Awesome Shield learning is learning by doing. That’s why you’ll build fun projects along the way.

Easy to Start, Hard to Stop

The Awesomeness of Arduino, Without the Roadblocks

We love Arduino. It’s one of the best ways to have fun with programming, electronics and science. There is nothing like seeing code you wrote coming alive in your hands. We want lots of people to have that experience. Unfortunately, it’s been hard for beginners to get started with Arduino – until now. We identified the three toughest things about learning Arduino, and made them way easier and more fun with Awesome Shield.

Hardware, without the headaches. It’s tough to learn how to build circuits on a breadboard and write code at the same time. There’s just so much that can wrong. Awesome Shield’s pre-assembled hardware lets you focus on the coding, which means you can learn faster and without the frustration. You get all the pleasure of seeing your code come to life without any of the hassle, and if you want to hook up a breadboard you can do it on your terms.

Simple code you’ll enjoy learning. Arduino code is powerful, but tough for beginners to understand. It takes many lines of code to accomplish even basic things. That’s why we’ve simplified the Arduino code into easy to read “code sentences” using our Awesome Shield library. Our library comes with great documentation and helpful examples that explain how how to use the code.

Step-by-step video series bring it all together. We’ll launch with 100+ awesome videos will teach you everything you need to know to get started with Arduino. Over 400 people have already learned with and loved our videos so we’re pretty sure you’ll love them too.

Learning You Can Build On

Your Journey Doesn’t End with Awesome Shield

Awesome Shield’s two grove ports let you easily connect to a whole ecosystem of plug and play add-ons, made by our friends at Seeed Studios. 20+ supported add-ons work with the same simple and familiar Awesome Shield code. And over 100 more let you explore beyond Awesome Shield when you’re ready.

The Sky’s the Limit

Unless you Decide to Build a Satellite

Beneath each Awesome Shield board sits the powerful Arduino platform. Awesome Shield is a standard Arduino Shield and uses the Arduino development tools (IDE) and library system. With these tools, you can build anything you can imagine. People have built some amazing things with Arduino. Awesome Shield puts you on the right path to join the amazing maker community or learn new programming languages (like Python, JavaScript, Java or Ruby).

What You Get

What exactly is “everything I need”?

The Awesome Shield kit includes:

  • The Awesome Shield board which plugs right into your Arduino (Arduino not included)
  • Awesome Shield learning website with hours of step-by-step videos
  • Complete reference documentation for base and add-on components
  • The Awesome Shield library which lets you write simple, understandable code

Fully Assembled hardware. The shield connects to your Arduino. Anyone can use it, and it comes with simple but powerful components, carefully selected for fun and learning potential.

The Awesome Shield Library. The Awesome Shield library makes writing code easy and understandable.

Online learning platform and step-by-step videos. They’ll walk you through multiple projects and challenges. By the end, you’ll be inventing new gadgets of your own!

What You Learn

Coding, STEAM, and Problem Solving

The skills and know-how to invent new things. Awesome Shield teaches you not only how to code for Arduino but also science, math and analytical thinking. You’ll pick up a whole slew of new skills – and have fun doing it.

Code

  • giving a computer instructions with code
  • using the Arduino IDE and tools
  • universally useful programming concepts like decisions, loops, variables, arrays and functions
  • The idea of techniques like object-oriented-programming (OOP) and semantic code

STEAM
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math

  • how to make music and learn about notes, tones and timing
  • how colors and light work using additive color theory
  • how to use math to solve real problems
  • How a computer can “see” the real world using sensors

Analytical Thinking & Problem Solving

  • Think like a researcher: Use reference documents to find the information you need
  • Think like an Engineer: Breaking down complex problems into small steps
  • Think like a detective: Finding errors in a structured way using logic and debugging

Join 400 Awesome Learners

People Love to Learn with Awesome Shield

We’ve been improving Awesome Shield for nearly two years – making it into a learning platform that people of all ages get a tonne of pleasure from. We’ve taught over 400 people to code at our events. Check out our meetup group if you’re in Berlin (320+ learners!), and see how busy our booth was over less than two hours during our weekend at Maker Faire Rome.

Alone Or In Teams

Awesome Shield Is Always Fun

You can code like Han (solo), with a family member, with a friend, or a classmate. Parents and kids love learning together with Awesome Shield.

Coding is More Than Writing Code

Change the Way You See the World

While testing our prototypes, many people have told us that learning basic programming skills with Awesome Shield changes the way they understand the world. It transforms technology from being an intimidating black box, into something in your toolbox.

That’s why Awesome Shield is built to go beyond programming. You’ll work on problem solving, critical thinking, math, and science! These skills are useful far beyond coding, and will stick with you for your whole life.

Magical, But Not Magic

Open Source for All to See

We believe technology should be accessible to everyone. That’s why our hardware design and software library are open source, for all to see. We kept them both simple so that understanding them doesn’t require years of training. That means you can look under the hood and understand how Awesome Shield itself is made. It also means the hardware and software library can be used and improved by the community.

Check them out on GitHub: https://github.com/awesomeshield

The Budget

Where Does All the Money Go?

Timeline

When You Will Get Your Awesome Shield

Already Working, and tested by over 400 people!

  • Fully functional hardware (hand assembled)
  • Fully functional code library
  • Fully functional learning website, with documentation pages and video pages
  • Videos that teach and intro to coding, including turning on the LED, making it blink, making it light up in different colors, RGB color theory, and variables

After Kickstarter Campaign

  • June - Hardware designs are optimized for manufacturing & pre-production prototypes are produced.
  • August - Parts are at the factory, ready for manufacturing
  • August - Expanded learning content & platform are done, testing starts
  • October - First round of manufacturing is finished
  • November - Final learning content & platform are ready
  • November - Hardware is packaged and starts shipping

Your Awesome Shield Team

We’re in it Because We Love it

Awesome Shield is going to give a ton of people a fun and engaging learning experience. They’ll gain confidence, learn concepts that go beyond coding, and exercise their learning and problem solving muscles. We’re super excited to watch that happen, and that’s why we’re bringing Awesome Shield to the world.

FAQ

How much will Awesome Shield cost?
It’s looking like Awesome Shield kit (including hardware, videos, and code) will cost 48€. This may change slightly as we firm up the finances leading up to the launch date.

What?!? There’s No Arduino in the Box?
You are correct, we will send you the Awesome Shield hardware, but you will need to buy an Arduino yourself. It kills us too. Here’s the skinny: we’re a small company and we simply can’t afford to sell Arduinos along with the rest of the product. We’ve crunched the math 12 ways to tuesday, we’ve spoken to people smarter than ourselves, we’ve looked under every rock and agonized over this – but just couldn’t make it work in our base campaign. In the end, we decided it was better to deliver you the amazing Awesome Shield experience than have no campaign at all.

How much does an Arduino cost?
Arduinos are very affordable, and come in many flavors. The Arduino Uno is a great starter Arduino, works beautifully with Awesome Shield and typically costs about $25 USD or 22 EUR.

Will you send me some plug and play add-ons?
Not as part of this campaign. But you can purchase any of the 150+ amazing add-ons directly from Seeed Studios. We plan to offer kits of add-ons in the future, along with more tutorials and super awesome projects that teach you how to use them – which will be a great opportunity to learn more advanced programming, science, and math concepts! Awesome Shield is built to grow with you.

What makes it easier to learn?
Traditionally, you learn to code for Arduino and to build circuits at the same time. This is tough, because when there’s a problem, you don’t know if it’s in your code, or in your circuit. Awesome Shield solves this problem with pre-assembled hardware, so you can focus on your code.

Is it safe?
Arduino microcontrollers operate at low voltage (5V). This is less than the amount of power produced by a 9V battery.

Is it real code?
Awesome Shield teaches you to write real code, not use a graphical programming interface. This means that what you learn is deeply useful in any programming language.

What programming language is the code in?
C++

What about setup?
Don’t sweat it – set up is easy. You’ll go to the Awesome Shield learning website, and find videos that walk you through the short setup process.

What is grove?
Awesome Shield is fully compatible with Grove Add-Ons. These components are a modular system of electronics components developed and manufactured by Seeed Studios.

Which Arduino do I need?
Awesome Shield is fully compatible with many Arduino types, including the Uno R3, Mega, and Yun.

Is it hard to connect Awesome Shield and Arduino?
Nope. It snaps right on in seconds.