Arduino Workshop and Hackathon Teach and Challenge Students

Dan Schmetterling ’18 CpE and Patrick Hannagan ’19 EE, winners of the Lockheed Martin Challenge, with representative of the company and Engineering Entrepreneurship Director Ed Dougherty.
Dan Schmetterling ’18 CpE and Patrick Hannagan ’19 EE, winners of the Lockheed Martin Challenge, with representative of the company and Engineering Entrepreneurship Director Ed Dougherty.

In March, the Engineering Entrepreneurship program and Lockheed Martin co-sponsored an Arduino training workshop and hackathon competition. Open to the entire University, the hands-on workshop provided an opportunity to become familiar with this open-source electronics platform, which is based on easy-to-use hardware and software. According to the Arduino website, the boards are able to read inputs—light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message—and turn it into an output—activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online.

Two weeks after learning how to work with the platform, 16 students formed teams to compete in a hackathon. The highlight of the event, the Lockheed Martin Challenge, tasked them with developing a sketch (program) that provided internet connectivity.

The first place winners of the challenge were Dan Schmetterling ’18 CpE and Patrick Hannagan ’19 EE whose team developed an Arduino temperature sensor. Remotely accessible via an internet connection, the sensor could be used to regulate temperatures of a greenhouse or home thermostat.  Another team created a Twitter bot, which was connected to the internet and automatically sent out Tweets. Lockheed Martin chose the winner based on the creativity of the idea, as well as its business case.

Led by Engineering Entrepreneurship Director Ed Dougherty, the Arduino workshop and hackathon are presented annually.