In planning to teach my students how to build circuits and program Arduinos, I decided to mount Arduino UNOs and small breadboards on 6″ long 2×6 blocks. This should help keep the two together and since they are being used by 5th grade students and younger, having a larger and heavier block should make it easier to plug in jumper wires and small components without knocking anything around. One issue that cropped up was that once the Arduino was screwed to the board it seemed like the USB cable was going to get jerked around quite a bit. If you work with students you can probably relate to how rough they can be with classroom supplies!
To solve it I made a two part design that clamps around the USB cable and screws into the board. Although you can’t unplug it from the Arduino anymore, it makes a huge difference in how much stress is put on the UNO’s USB port.
- 2x6x6 boards
- No. 4 Stainless Steel Sheet Metal Screws, 5/8″ and 3/4″ long
- No. 4 1/8″ Standoffs
- Arduino UNO
- Small Breadboards
- Plastic Conductive Shelf Bins – 7 x 12 x 4″
Printing and Assembly
The boards have worked great so far and the students haven’t managed to break any! I also purchased some 7″ x 12″ x 4″ Plastic Conductive Shelf Bins from Uline to store each group’s Arduino, jumper wires, LEDs, and servos they are using. This lets them throw everything together at the end of class and not have to worry about parts being smashed. You can see some of the bins behind their Robot Petting Zoo projects below: