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A 12-Year-Old's Quest To Remake Education, One Arduino At A Time

Twelve-year-old electronics prodigy Quin Etnyre wanted to make education more fun. So he became a teacher. Quin Etnyre walks to the front of a crowded room at Deezmaker 3D Printers and Hackerspace in Pasadena, California. He adjusts his laptop on the workbench, then looks up and addresses the class. “Thanks for coming out on a Saturday,” he says, his voice barely audible over the steady hum of servomotors. The students, 18 middle-aged men and preteen boys, look on as Quin straightens his MIT T-shirt and swipes an index finger across an iPod. The screen behind him flashes “Intro to Arduino Class.” He explains to the group, which includes a toy maker, an engineer, and a high-school electronics teacher, that he’ll be showing them how to program an Arduino—a $30 microcontroller board that can convert sensory inputs into outputs, making objects interactive. “First I want to demonstrate some cool things I made that you can make too,” he says, reaching into a backpack. Two men stop whispering and turn toward him. Quin pulls out the FuzzBot, a bug-eyed, four-wheeled robot slightly smaller than a shoebox. Then he holds up a baseball cap with LEDs stitched into the fabric. Most didn’t realize their instructor, a rising star in the DIY-electronics movement, is also a 12-year-old. “This is a Gas Cap. Well, it’s really a fart sensor,” he says, with a straight face and inscrutable tone. He describes how he programmed the lights to blink when the sensor detects methane. Several boys in the room burst out laughing. The men look confused, uncertain what to make of their instructor. They knew from his reputation that he is a rising star in the DIY-electronics movement; most didn’t realize until they got here today that he is also a 12-year-old.

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20 Aug
Workshopshed @Workshopshed
RT @wearethe_co: This is ACE. A 12-year-old who converted his parents' garage into a #hackerspace http://t.co/pyKdDkKnum #Arduino via @marc…
20 Aug
Planet Arduino @planetarduino
RT @A_S_Jamwal: A 12-Year-Old's Quest To Remake #Education, One #Arduino At A Time http://t.co/MP1KRW6xkQ
19 Aug
SparkFun Electronics @sparkfun
Friend of SparkFun and all-around awesome kid @Qtechknow was recently featured in PopSci! Check it out - http://t.co/niJUWHEegy