Arduino Project Ideas for Beginners

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

For student who are anxious to learn how to program and build things on their own, Arduino is a great starting place. These projects will help your students test their early skills with Arduino.


Arduino is an electronics platform that is designed to be accessible and straightforward to use. Due to its simplicity and versatility, it's popular with beginners and experts alike. This makes Arduino great for your students, since the skills they learn as beginners will be directly transferable as they increase their knowledge and technical skills. The following project ideas are intended to help beginners test and expand their knowledge of Arduino's capabilities and potential.

Morse Code

For this simple project, students are going to use the Arduino and a breadboard to connect a pushbutton with an LED light (wired so that it can sit a distance from the pushbutton). When students click on the pushbutton, the LED light will illuminate. With this simple setup, teach students to tap out messages in Morse code, so that they can send messages back and forth across the classroom using the LEDs. If your students would like to expand on this, they can add more pushbuttons and more LED lights and create their own code using different colors of lights and patterns of illumination.

  • Materials: Arduino, breadboard, pushbutton, resistor, LED light, wiring and other basic setup items as needed

Alarm System

With this project, students are going to create an alarm system using an ultrasonic distance ping sensor. Students will set up the Arduino and breadboard, containing a Piezo buzzer (or other buzzer), and program the ping sensor. They will code the buzzer so that it goes off if the ping sensor is tripped. Students can use/test this for basic home security, or they can change the buzzer tone to automatically play a sound or song whenever they walk by (thus creating an epic entrance music machine). Students can also expand on this by having the ping sensor trigger other devices, such as cameras or LED lights, but this will require more coding and supplies.

  • Materials: Arduino, ultrasonic ping sensor, Piezo buzzer (or similar product), resistors, wiring supplies as needed

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