If you're here, it's because you want to learn how to build and make stuff with electronics! (If, rather than learn electronics, you'd like to look at pictures of cats instead, please check https://www.adafruit.com/galleries/cats-of-engineering)
And, you're in luck: there's never been a better time.
Gone are the days where you need thousands of dollars of equipment and lots physics/math background. Nowadays, if you want to learn to work with electronics, you can jump right in for $20 or less, and any sort of computer. And we're talking about learning a lot of electronics - from the basics of analog to the complexities of firmware. With a good pack of parts, you can build a base of knowledge that will take you from your first blinking LED to someone who can start prototyping and inventing custom products.
Anyone with a computer they can install software on, an Arduino or compatible and the ability to type and click a mouse. That's pretty much the minimum.
You don't need to know a lot of physics or math, and just like an Art Degree isn't required for making art and being creative, you don't need to have a computer science degree. It helps if you're comfortable using computers but that's a skill most people pick up through life.
If you know how to program already - great! If not, don't worry, we'll teach you enough to be dangerous.
Circuit Playground is the name of the little round electronic circuit board that you are going to use as a tool to investigate and explore programming & electronics. Think of it as like a Swiss Army Knife or multi-tool for learning electronics as an art form! It is an all-in-one board so you can jump in quickly and do a whole lotta projects (It can slice, it can dice, it has lots of blinky LEDs!)
Circuit Playground can light up multicolored LEDs (make beautiful lighting effects), make sounds (like a synthesizer!), detect touch or color, sense the enviroment like temperature, sound, and motion, and more!
By programming your Playground with software, you can combine all these abilities. For example, it can use the sound sensor to listen to music, and then pulse the LEDs to react to the melody and rhythm it hears. Or, you can use the motion sensor to detect when someone moves your purse and play a loud alarm to scare them off!
Circuit Playground works with the Arduino software. You can use the Arduino IDE software to program Circuit Playground. The main chip in Circuit Playground is natively supported, which means you can use the thousands of projets and tutorials seamlessly!
Best of all, no soldering required! You do not need anything to get started other than a Circuit Playground, a common USB cable and any computer (Windows/Mac/Linux/Chromebook)
I'm Ladyada, and I love to teach people how to build stuff and how they can be creative with technology.
So, are you ready?
Let's do this thing!