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SparkFun Electronics Department of Education Heads Out on First West Coast Tour Three-week circuit brings mobile classroom to students, teachers and electronics enthusiasts in four states

BOULDER, Colo., Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SparkFun Electronics (http://www.sparkfun.com), a provider of parts, knowledge and passion for electronics creation, is excited to announce its upcoming West Coast Tour. Teachers from SparkFun's Department of Education (http://learn.sparkfun.com/) are loading up a 28-foot RV with more electronic gadgetry than you can shake a laser pointer at and turning left at the Continental Divide for three weeks of workshops, classes and makerspace visits in four states.

After the enormous success of SparkFun's East Coast Tour in April -- where the department spent almost a month traveling, teaching technology and connecting with students and makers in the community -- the decision to take a similar tour in the Western U.S. was easy. On October 12, three of SparkFun's educators will hit the road to bring microprocessors to the masses in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington before heading back home to Colorado.

Since the tour is organized by and on behalf of SparkFun's education initiative, the group is particularly interested in reaching out to teachers who would like to get embedded computing into their classrooms, but have been shy about doing it without some hands-on training.

"Our goal is that when a teacher makes the effort to put Arduino in their classrooms, we want to be able to help train them on the basic skills needed to get things rolling," said Jeff Branson, one of the educators embarking on the tour. "We love spending time with the community - both teachers and students - and we know it's tough to travel. But, this is what these trips are all about."

The tour will include classes on Arduino, soldering, electronic origami, LilyPad and soft circuits, and SparkFun's crew will be visiting classrooms, engineering schools and makerspaces. The dates and locations of the tour are:

Chandler, AZ - Oct.14
Los Angeles - Oct. 15 -19
Central California - Oct. 20 - 21
Bay Area - Oct. 22 - 23
Rocklin, CA - Oct. 24
Portland, OR - Oct. 25 - 28
Seattle, WA - Oct. 29

While some of the tour has already filled up, there are a number of workshops with space available to the public:

On October 15 and 16, SparkFun will be doing two workshops at the Seabase Aquatics Center. Those interested can sign-up for each event on their site (http://www.meetup.com/Long-Beach-Young-Makers/events/82219622/) and (http://www.meetup.com/Long-Beach-Makers/events/81027812/).

On October 17 and 18, we are working with the Exploratory (http://www.theexploratory.com/) to teach electronics to the younger crowd using LilyPad and the Picoboard with the Scratch programming environment. For more info on signing
up, contact info@theexploratory.com.

There is a surface-mount soldering workshop on October 22 at the Noisebridge hackerspace in San Francisco. You can learn more about the space and event, and can register for the class on their website (https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Noisebridge).

SparkFun is also happy to announce its first educational collaboration with Parallax (http://www.parallax.com/). On October 24, we'll be running a ProtoSnap LilyPad
Development Board workshop in Rocklin, CA, and we invite you to attend. Registration can be found under the classes and events section at (http://learn.sparkfun.com/).

About SparkFun Electronics

Founded in 2003, SparkFun shares its passion by providing parts, knowledge, and innovation for those looking to explore the world of embedded electronics. It helps anyone discover their inner inventor and enables individuals to create their own electronics projects.

SparkFun currently offers more than 1,800 products, ranging from simple components, like capacitors and resistors, to GPS units and Bluetooth modules. The company employs 135 people and is based in Boulder, Colorado.

Find SparkFun onTwitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and Google+.  

Press Contact:
Jeremy Douglas
Catapult PR-IR
303-581-7760 ext. 16
jdouglas@catapultpr-ir.com

SOURCE SparkFun Electronics



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