The easiest way to get started with microcontrollers is using the Arduino.
When I was living in Berlin I did a lot of Arduino workshops.
One of the most fun projects I did with my students was the Weather-Predicting Mini-Lamp that would change color depending on what temperature it was going to be the next three hours.
It did this by connecting to the Internet, finding weather data from a weather-site, extracting the temperature for the next 3 hours, then translating this to a specific color using an RGB LED.
The Weather-Predicting Mini-Lamp project is a part of the new Getting Started With Electronics course bundle that I just released:
Get 25% off with the code TWENTYFIVEOFF (valid until the end of April).
Have an electronics-filled weekend ahead!
Keep On Soldering!
Oyvind @ build-electronic-circuits.com