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During Bett Show 2020, Arduino will launch the Arduino Education learning evolution: four new STEAM products for students in lower secondary school through to university. Arduino Education will also announce a partnership with the Fraunhofer Initiative: “Roberta – Learning with Robots” in Germany.

Arduino Education‘s latest products — CTC GO! Motions Expansion Pack, Engineering Kit Rev2, Arduino Education Starter Kit, and IoT Starter Kit — will be unveiled at Bett and available in Q1. These new products complement the existing portfolio, which includes the Science Kit, CTC GO!, CTC 101, Arduino Starter Kit, and Certification program.

Arduino CEO Fabio Violante comments: “We are delighted to announce four new products which will expand STEAM learning for lower secondary to university students. Our technology, programming, and curriculum content are creative tools just like brushes and paint that students can use as they become part of our next generation of scientists and artists.”

CTC GO! Motions Expansion Pack (Age: 14+)

Build on your secondary school students’ STEAM knowledge with more complex programming concepts that develop computational thinking and 21st-century skills.

For educators who have taken their students through the CTC GO! – Core Module, the Motions Expansion Pack builds on what they have already learned about how to use technology as a tool and how to apply that knowledge in the real world. The Motions Expansion Pack challenges students to go a step further in computing and design while introducing them to motors and transmission mechanisms such as pulleys and gear concepts that develop their logical reasoning, hands-on building skills, and problem-solving skills. Educators get all the teaching support they need with webinars, videos, guides, and direct contact with an expert.

Engineering Kit Rev2 (Age: 17+)

Challenge upper secondary school and university students and help them develop hands-on engineering skills.

Educators can challenge engineering students and help them develop physical engineering skills with the Arduino Engineering Kit Rev2. Featuring cutting-edge technology, the kit is a practical, hands-on tool that demonstrates key concepts, core aspects of mechatronics, and MATLAB and Simulink programming. Developed in partnership with MathWorks, The Engineering Kit Rev2 is ideal for advanced high school and college students, the three projects teach the basics of engineering — plus they’re fun to do! 

Education Starter Kit (Age: 11+)

Learn electronics and get started with programming in your classroom step-by-step — no experience necessary!

Educators can teach lower secondary school students the basics of programming, coding, and electronics. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary as the kits guide educators through step-by-step, they are well-supported with teacher guides, and lessons can be paced according to students’ abilities. The kit can be integrated throughout the curriculum, giving students the opportunity to become confident in programming and electronics with guided sessions and open experimentation. They’ll also learn vital 21st-century skills such as collaboration and problem-solving.

IoT Starter Kit (Age: 14+)

The first step into the world of connected objects has never been easier. 

Advanced secondary school and university students can get started with the Internet of Things quickly and easily. They’ll learn about using sensors; automation; logging, graphing and analyzing sensor data, and triggering events with serious technology made simple. The kit contains step-by-step tutorials for ten different projects – fun, creative experiments using real-life sensors.

In partnership with the Fraunhofer Initiative: “Roberta – Learning with Robots”

The dream team for classrooms worldwide: Arduino Education has officially partnered up with the Fraunhofer Initiative “Roberta – Learning with Robots.” The Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 board, part of Arduino CTC GO!, joined the Open Roberta Lab, the biggest open-source coding platform developed in Europe.

The Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 is the fourth Arduino board to be integrated into the Open Roberta Lab, which currently supports 13 robots and microcontrollers that enable children worldwide to adopt a playful approach to coding. The lab is the technological component of the Roberta Initiative, which was started by Fraunhofer IAIS in 2002. Eighteen years’ experience in STEM education, training teachers, and developing materials as well as launching the Open Roberta Lab in 2014 make Roberta a one-of-a-kind initiative in Germany and beyond, and the perfect partner for Arduino Education.

“Fraunhofer offers guaranteed quality, both on the technical level as well as for community support,” says Arduino CTO David Cuartielles. “There are a lot of synergies in our cooperation. Roberta is really meant for teachers to learn how to teach technology, and that’s also a key part of Arduino Education’s mission.”

“Open Roberta is developed as an open source platform to engage a community worldwide to join our mission. As a popular open source electronics platform, Arduino is the perfect match for us as it also motivates people all over the world to develop their own ideas and move from using to creating technology,” adds Thorsten Leimbach, head of business unit “Smart Coding and Learning” and Roberta manager at Fraunhofer IAIS.

Dream team for classrooms worldwide: Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 for CTC GO! joins Open Roberta Lab, the biggest open source coding platform made in Europe.

The Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 is the fourth Arduino board to be integrated into the Open Roberta Lab, which is currently supporting a total of 13 robots and microcontrollers to enable children worldwide to adopt a playful approach to coding. By “dragging and dropping” the colorful programming blocks called “NEPO” hundreds of thousands of users worldwide from more than 100 countries per year create their own programs to make their hardware come to life.

“Fraunhofer offers guaranteed quality, both on the technical level as well as for community support,” says Arduino CTO David Cuartielles. “There are a lot of synergies in our cooperation. Roberta is really meant for teachers to learn how to teach technology which is a key part of the Arduino Education’s mission.”

The CTC GO! – Core Module containing eight Arduino Uno WiFi Rev2 is supporting the joint mission of Open Roberta and Arduino in providing teachers with a getting started program including eight lessons, eight guided projects, and six self-guided projects that teach students how to use electronics and introduces them to programming and coding. The lessons increase in difficulty from the very basics all the way through to learning different programming capabilities and building circuits for different sensors and actuators. During the self-guided projects, students practice building structures and applying the knowledge acquired in the hands-on lessons to develop their critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills in a collaborative manner.”

Arduino first joined Open Roberta in 2018, when the microcontrollers Arduino Uno, Nano, and Mega were integrated into the Open Roberta Lab. The lab is the technological component of the Roberta initiative, which was started by Fraunhofer IAIS in 2002. 18 years of experience in STEM education, training teachers and developing materials as well as launching the Open Roberta Lab in 2014 make Roberta a one of a kind initiative in Germany and beyond.

How Arduino Education helped educator James Jones boost students’ 21st-century skills and robotics knowledge at 23 middle schools in Orlando, Florida. 

More and more teachers face the difficulty of instilling the right skills and knowledge, as well as a flexible mindset, that better prepare their students for future career opportunities.

Today, students need to be thinking about careers in middle school,” Jones said. “If students wait until they are juniors or seniors in high school to decide, their options are already getting slim. Finding a direction in middle school allows for research, job shadowing, and internships in high school. This will translate into more jobs that require more of these skills as part of the daily workplace. This way they know what a career really looks like, instead of jumping into a job and finding out that they are miserable.”

The challenge: learning about careers you love at a young age

Many countries have recently approved changes in their curricula and education systems to allow earlier access to technology in the classroom. In Finland, technology education is not a separate subject but a cross-curricular, interdisciplinary topic studied within various classes. In Florida, the Workforce Education law requires that students explore their career options during grades 6-8, at ages 12 to 14.

How Arduino Education helped

Jones spent last summer looking for a solution to assist him the following semester. He wanted to think big and reach as many schools as possible in Orange County, so he applied for and won the Title IV grant through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) program. He used the grant to fund 23 middle schools and chose Arduino Education’s products, CTC GO! Core Module and the Arduino Starter Kit, to improve students’ robotics, programming, and coding skills.

This past summer we ran two weeks of camps for rising eighth-graders. It was a transition camp at our feeder high school,” Jones said. As an educator, he believes his students should not leave school with only basic knowledge of robotics and STEAM but a deeper and more concrete experience of real-world problem-solving. “More and more personal electronics have fewer buttons and more programming,” Jones said.

Jones asked  Pitsco Education – an official Arduino Education Partner – for extra support during his teaching experience. Pitsco “teaches both coding and circuitry concepts in a real-world manner. Along the way, students encounter numerous careers which might spark their interest in pursuing an occupation they hadn’t considered before. A few of the endless possibilities open to students include engineering and design in any field (computer science, electricity, chemistry, mechanics), programming, and even costuming and music production.”

Do you have an Arduino Education success story? We would love to hear it! your success story with Arduino Education!

Find out more about Arduino Education at arduino.cc/education

Launched back in January 2019 in partnership with Google, the Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab is designed for middle school students (aged 11 to 14) to explore science. It is  now available with Italian and Spanish  course content, making it more accessible than ever.

“You discovered it yourself, so it was really fun doing that” UK Student from ARK Burlington Danes Academy.

The Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab, requires no prior electronics knowledge.  It features online course content and equipment to conduct and test the fundamental laws of traditional physics through nine exciting science projects inspired by popular fairground rides like the Gravitron and Pirate Ship.  It is perfect for developing transferable skills such as critical thinking and problem solving through an inquiry-based learning approach. Students will experiment with forces, motion, magnetism, and conductivity – making their own hypothesis like real scientists, checking their assumptions, and logging data in real-time using Google’s Science Journal for Android.

“Makes it more accessible for students to do practical physics” – Graeme Wood, UK – Physics teacher, ARK Burlington Danes Academy. 

Incredibly easy to get started, students simply connect their Android mobile device to the board, build their project, and then use the onboard sensor and plug-and-play modules to simulate the rides’ dynamics. Data is transmitted from the experiment to the student’s mobile device via Bluetooth, where they can analyse and record their results in Google’s Science Journal App or worksheets.

The Arduino Education  Science Kit Physics Lab isn’t confined to the classroom. In fact, students can use the kit outdoors to turn the playground into their very own fairground by applying the concepts they’ve learned to design and test their own rides. Based upon the Arduino MKR WiFi 1010, it is a fully portable lab including a range of sensors to measure light, temperature, motion, and magnetic fields, and much more… that come in a protective Gratnells classroom tray.

Arduino Education aims to assist educators by providing our programs, online course content and worksheets in as many languages as possible: not only relevant European languages, but for example,  Arabic and Japanese are also planned for future release. Next in line for the Science Kit Physics Lab will be German, Hungarian and Portuguese so watch this space.

MORE INFO


Ya están disponibles las ediciones de Science kit en Italiano y en Español

Lanzado en Enero de 2019 en colaboración con Google, Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab está diseñado para estudiantes de primaria ( de 11 a 14 años ) para aprender sobre ciencia. Ahora el contenido está disponible en Italiano y Español, haciéndolo aún más accesible que nunca.

“Lo vas descubriendo todo tú mismo, fue muy divertido” Estudiante de Reino Unido de ARK Burlington Danes Academy

Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab, no necesita conocimientos previos sobre electrónica. Incluye un curso online  y equipamiento para llevar a cabo y probar las leyes fundamentales de la física tradicional a través de 9 proyectos científicos excitantes inspirados en atracciones populares de las ferias como el Gravitron y el Barco Pirata. Es perfecta para desarrollar habilidades como el pensamiento crítico y la resolución de problemas, a través de un aprendizaje mediante enseñanza reflexiva. Los alumnos experimentaran con fuerzas, movimientos, magnetismo y conductividad – haciendo sus propias hipótesis como científicos de verdad, probando sus suposiciones y recogiendo información en tiempo real usando la app de Google “Science Journal” para Android.

“Hace que la física práctica sea más accesible para los estudiantes” Graeme Wood, UK – Profesor de física, ARK Burlington Danes Academy. 

Increiblemente facil de empezar a usar, los alumnos simplemente tienen que conectar el dispositivo Android a la placa, montar el proyecto, y después usa los sensores que contiene la shield y los módulos plug-and-play  para simular las atracciones. Los datos son transmitidos del experimento a el dispositivo móvil del alumno via Bluetooth, donde se puede ver y analizar el resultado obtenido en la app Science Journal de Google o en las fichas de los alumnos.

Arduino Education  Science Kit Physics Lab  no está pensado para usarse únicamente en clase. De hecho, los alumnos pueden usar el kit en exteriores para convertir su recreo en su propia feria de ciencia aplicando los conceptos que han aprendido, y así, diseñar y probar sus propias atracciones. Basado en el uso de Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 , que es un laboratorio portátil incluyendo un grupo de sensores para medir luminosidad, temperatura, movimiento, campos magnéticos y mucho más… todo esto en una caja Gratnells protectora.

Arduino Education apunta a apoyar a los profesores proporcionando nuestros programas, contenido online y las hojas del alumno en el mayor número de idiomas posible: no solo en los idiomas Europeos relevantes, por ejemplo, Árabe y Japonés están planeados para futuras actualizaciones. Lo siguientes idiomas para Science Kit Physics Lab serán Alemán, Húngaro y Portugués.

MÁS INFORMACIÓN


Da oggi Science Kit è disponibile anche in italiano e spagnolo.

Nel Gennaio 2019, in collaborazione con Google, Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab è stato lanciato sul mercato, per studenti di scuola media (tra 11 e 14 anni) e non solo, con l’obiettivo di esplorare la scienza, divertendosi.

Da oggi, i contenuti del corso sono disponibili in italiano e spagnolo, rendendolo ancora più accessibile.

“Sei tu che esperimenti in prima persona, ed è stato davvero divertente poterlo fare” ha commentato uno studente inglese dell’accademia di ARK Burlington Danes.

Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab non richiede nessuna conoscenza pregressa in elettronica. Possiede un corso online con tutti i contenuti e gli strumenti per poterli condurre e testare le leggi fondamentali della fisica classica attraverso nove esperimenti di scienza, ispirati dalle attrazioni più popolari nei parchi divertimento, come la nave pirata o il Gravitron. E’ un prodotto ideale per poter sviluppare competenze come l’abilità di saper risolvere problemi e il pensiero critico, attraverso un metodo di apprendimento basato sull’indagine pratica. Gli studenti sperimentano con le forze, il moto, il magnetismo e la conduttività; creando le loro ipotesi come veri scienziati, verificando le loro supposizioni, e prendendo nota dei dati in tempo reale usando il Google Science Journal per Android.

“Rende molto più accessibile agli studenti praticare la fisica” Graeme Wood, docente di fisica, presso ARK Burlington Danes Academy.

E’ incredibilmente facile da avviare, gli studenti connettono semplicemente il loro dispositivo mobile Android alla scheda, costruiscono il progetto, e dopo, usano i sensori installati e i moduli plug-and-play per simulare le dinamiche dei dati. I dati sono trasmessi dall’esperimento al dispositivo mobile via Bluetooth, dove possono analizzare, registrare i risultati nel loro Google Science Journal oppure nelle loro schede di lavoro.

Arduino Education Science Kit Physics Lab non si limita soltanto alla classe. Infatti, gli studenti possono usare il kit anche fuori all’aperto, trasformando il cortile della scuola in un luna-park, applicando i concetti che hanno imparato e progettando e testando le loro attrazioni. Basato su Arduino MKR WiFi 1010, è un laboratorio portatile completo, che include vari sensori per misurare la luce, la temperatura, il moto, i campi magnetici e molto altro…tutto incluso in una comoda e sicura scatola.

Arduino Education mira ad assistere gli insegnanti sostenendo i corsi, i contenuti online e le schede per gli studenti, in più’ lingue possibili: non soltanto lingue europee, ma anche per esempio arabo e giapponese sono in programma per il futuro. Prossimamente, Science Kit Physics Lab verrà rilasciato in tedesco, ungherese e portoghese, perciò continuate a seguirci per restare informati.

INFORMAZIONI QUI

Since very early on I developed an interest in education. During my studies I worked as afterschool teacher in math, physics, chemistry, and languages. Shortly after graduating from my MSc in Engineering I became a teacher at the School of Arts and Communication at Malmo University, Sweden. For over a decade I worked in the creation of education programmes for the university, looking at how to introduce technology transversely as part of several subjects within undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate education.

Back in 2012, I realised at the time that almost no one was addressing the needs of educators when introducing curriculum. Therefore, I decided that we had to put educators at the center of our concept and help them find creative ways to use technology in the classroom. 

As we now are approaching 2020 I am very proud of where this has taken us. 

We have managed to bring Arduino Education programs into the classrooms in a large number of countries with great success, and not least with the help from all of you — our trade partners around the world. 

We rely on you to be our faces in the market and also understand how we need to step up in our offering to make sure you are equipped to bring Arduino Education to market and give the best support to the teachers.

The Arduino Education team has been expanding the past year and we now have a strong, creative and dedicated team to make sure we deliver relevant education programs, content, training and support.

Every single day we build on our vision in wanting  to make technology accessible to everyone and put it into the hands of every student and educator.

There is still a long way to go — we are on an amazing journey and this is just the beginning. The world of technology is constantly changing and new technologies keep showing their faces. Hence why it is so very important that we work hard to make students of today aware of technology and give them confidence in working with it.

Formal education is going through a strong transformation due to the digitalization of many aspects of contemporary society. If we look at the future classroom, we see technology not just as a tool to learn about, but as a system to enhance lots of processes that currently stop us from building a better interaction between teachers, students, and their families. Technology will help us accessing knowledge in better ways right at the time we need it. Assessing the student’s learning process will be easier and more personalized. We will be able of scaling pedagogical models that schools are currently only dreaming of. It will be possible to make cross-age study groups, where students will join based on their interests. Teachers will have access to tools that will help them see at once the student’s progress and needs. Student mobility will be a matter of transferring a file between schools. 

While the future is there, a few steps ahead, we still have to walk the path. At Arduino we look forward to being your partner in reaching that future, one step at a time. 

Let us change the world by making technology accessible to everyone and put it into the hands of every student and educator.

Aside from all the product announcements at Bett, we’re excited to unveil a new annual initiative from the Arduino Education team to keep the community up-to-date on contests and exhibitions, suggest experiments, and highlight educational products and events of relevance within a selected topic.

The Arduino Education thematic years calendar is a unique way to involve our passionate educators and students, and work together to achieve something on a much larger scale.

For 2019, we have decided to take our efforts from the classroom to outer space.

2019 Is the Year of Space

Educators from all over the world have been using space as a context to build inspirational education resources. Different space agencies, through dissemination activities, have reached out to schools and universities trying to inspire students to become the next generation of scientists and engineers. Robots, satellites the size of a soda can, radio communication systems, weather monitoring devices, maps, amongst others, are examples of projects from those who want to bring the topic of space closer to the classroom. Arduino plays a major role in this, and therefore we want to contribute to the development and dissemination of future space scientists.

A Calendar of Activities

The Arduino Education thematic year calendar is not written in stone. We, in collaboration with a series of stakeholders, suggest a point of departure, but we will welcome your contributions. Please send us your event proposals via email to space.year@arduino.cc and we will share them. If you would like to make an announcement for an upcoming workshop, event, course, or if you are looking for partners to do so in your region, we will use the Arduino forum as a public way to discuss the possibilities.

Each thematic year will see the direct involvement of the community, both in proposing/running events related to the chosen topic and to select the theme for the following year. For starters, here is a brief snapshot of planned activities in the months to come:

January

  • Official announcement at BETT London
  • Balloon launching in Malmö, Sweden

February

  • Balloon launching in Soria, Spain with Fundación Trilema
  • Arduino instrumentation course for space experiments at Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden

March

  • Arduino Cardboard Keyboard workshop at SXSW
  • Balloon launching in Aguascalientes, Mexico
  • Worldwide Arduino Day celebrations
  • 2019 Arduino Education hackathon rules announcement
  • First tests of the Asuro robot v2 with German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Rest of the year

  • Arduino experiments at the International Space Station (ISS) with Quest Robotics
  • Arduino in Space hackathon
  • Moon landing anniversary party
  • Astronauts and cosmonauts hangout on the beach

Aside from all the product announcements at Bett, we’re excited to unveil a new annual initiative from the Arduino Education team to keep the community up-to-date on contests and exhibitions, suggest experiments, and highlight educational products and events of relevance within a selected topic.

The Arduino Education thematic years calendar is a unique way to involve our passionate educators and students, and work together to achieve something on a much larger scale.

For 2019, we have decided to take our efforts from the classroom to outer space.

2019 Is the Year of Space

Educators from all over the world have been using space as a context to build inspirational education resources. Different space agencies, through dissemination activities, have reached out to schools and universities trying to inspire students to become the next generation of scientists and engineers. Robots, satellites the size of a soda can, radio communication systems, weather monitoring devices, maps, amongst others, are examples of projects from those who want to bring the topic of space closer to the classroom. Arduino plays a major role in this, and therefore we want to contribute to the development and dissemination of future space scientists.

A Calendar of Activities

The Arduino Education thematic year calendar is not written in stone. We, in collaboration with a series of stakeholders, suggest a point of departure, but we will welcome your contributions. Please send us your event proposals via email to space.year@arduino.cc and we will share them. If you would like to make an announcement for an upcoming workshop, event, course, or if you are looking for partners to do so in your region, we will use the Arduino forum as a public way to discuss the possibilities.

Each thematic year will see the direct involvement of the community, both in proposing/running events related to the chosen topic and to select the theme for the following year. For starters, here is a brief snapshot of planned activities in the months to come:

January

  • Official announcement at BETT London
  • Balloon launching in Malmö, Sweden

February

  • Balloon launching in Soria, Spain with Fundación Trilema
  • Arduino instrumentation course for space experiments at Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden

March

  • Arduino Cardboard Keyboard workshop at SXSW
  • Balloon launching in Aguascalientes, Mexico
  • Worldwide Arduino Day celebrations
  • 2019 Arduino Education hackathon rules announcement
  • First tests of the Asuro robot v2 with German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Rest of the year

  • Arduino experiments at the International Space Station (ISS) with Quest Robotics
  • Arduino in Space hackathon
  • Moon landing anniversary party
  • Astronauts and cosmonauts hangout on the beach

The Arduino Certification Program (ACP) is an Arduino initiative to officially certify Arduino users at different levels and evaluate their expertise in key Arduino knowledge areas. Certifications are offered at three tiers — enthusiasts, educators and professionals — which have been identified as the largest Arduino user groups through extensive feedback from the community.

The first step, the Arduino Certification: Fundamentals Exam, is a structured way to enhance and validate your Arduino skills, and receive official recognition as you progress. Anyone interested in engaging with Arduino through a process that involves study, practice, and project building is encouraged to pursue this official certificate.

Developed in consultation with leading technology curriculum, interaction design, and electronic engineering professionals, the Arduino Certification: Fundamentals Exam assesses skills based on exercises consisting of practical tasks from the Arduino Starter Kit.

The official assessment covers three main key areas: theory and introduction to Arduino, electronics, and coding.

During the exam, you will be asked to answer 36 questions of varied format and difficulty, which should take approximately 75 minutes to complete.

Questions will test your knowledge on, but will not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Introduction to Arduino: Physical computing and Arduino, Arduino Uno, Arduino IDE and uploading, programming basics, electronics concepts, blink!, and the breadboard.
  • Sensors and Actuator: Sensors, actuators, as well as digital and analog input/output.
  • Input and Output Types: Using serial monitor, LEDs, motors, piezo as input/output, switches, variable resistors, IR, and PIR.

The Arduino Certification: Fundamentals Exam is currently on display at Bett 2019. Stop by stand C375 to see a demo for yourself and learn more about the program!

The Arduino Science Kit Physics Lab, developed in collaboration with Google, is the first official Arduino kit designed for middle school curriculum.

The Arduino Education Science Kit Physics Lab provides middle schoolers (ages 11 to 14) with a hands-on experience, enabling them to explore forces, motion, and conductivity with their classmates. Students can make their own hypothesis like a real scientist, then check their assumptions, and log data thanks to Google’s Science Journal app — a digital notebook for conducting and documenting science experiments using the unique capabilities of their own devices.

The kit, based on the MKR WiFi 1010, includes a range of sensors to measure light, temperature, motion, and magnetic fields, as well as a set of props and full access to online course content for teachers and students to conduct nine exciting science projects inspired by popular fairground rides like the Gravitron and Pirate Ship.

“The Arduino Science Kit is perfect for developing transferable skills such as critical thinking and problem solving through an inquiry-based learning approach. The projects featured in the kit have been aligned with several National curricula including the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) for K-12, and the National UK Curriculum, so teachers can be assured that the Physics Lab is not only easy to set up and fun to use, but also contains all the necessary lesson plans and physical experiments for students to actively engage with their learning.” – David Cuartielles

With the Physics Lab, no prior electronics knowledge is required. Students simply upload their sketch onto an Arduino board using Arduino Create for Chromebook, connect their Android mobile device to the board, build their project, and then use the onboard sensor and plug-and-play modules to simulate the rides’ dynamics. Data is transmitted from the experiment to the student’s mobile device via Bluetooth, where they can analyse and record their results in Google’s Science Journal App or worksheets.

The Arduino Education Science Kit Physics Lab isn’t confined to the classroom. In fact, students can use the kit outdoors to turn the playground into their very own fairground by applying the concepts they’ve learned to design and test their own rides.

The Arduino Education Science Kit Physics Lab comes in a handy storage box for later use, along with the MKR WiFi 1010 and all the parts needed to assemble and carry out the experiments. It will be coming soon to the Arduino Store and available globally starting in March 2019.

On April 18th, a team from Arduino Education made it to the museum Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in Valencia to participate in the CTC Valencia Fair. A total of 1,200 students (out of 1,500 people in attendance) participated in the five-hour-long event where the students exhibited what they had been producing over the last couple of months.

CTC, the Creative Technologies in the Classroom initiative

CTC started as a project in the region of Castilla La Mancha in Spain. I was asked what kind of process could be implemented in order to bring teachers and school up to speed with new educational technologies. Back then, in 2012, I had been teaching students from many different disciplines, mostly at the university level: interaction design, medicine, engineering, product design, mathematics, multimedia, fine arts… I had also been working with upper secondary school teachers from Spain, Argentina, and Sweden in the creation of small curriculums introducing interactive technologies a part of more transversal teaching in subjects like science and design.

When asked by the people in charge at the regional centre for educators in Castilla La Mancha, I suggested a quick iterative design process that began with a collective survey to teachers in 25 schools and followed by a curriculum suggestion on topics that they considered relevant. The most complex aspect in this process was how to design interventions in the way of implementing this programme so that I could incorporate the teachers’ as well as the students’ opinions and debug the content as we went. CTC has over 25 different mid-size experiments designed to help a class get acquainted to work in a project-based learning methodology through an iterative process.

The first CTC fair brought together over 400 students from all over Castilla La Mancha that presented 100-plus projects. Almost five years later, we have witnessed yet another incredible fair with very nice results, only this time in Valencia.

What has changed

CTC now includes experiments with wireless technology, accelerometers, capacitive sensing, motors, lights, and other interesting tricks, thanks to using the Arduino 101 board that comes with BLE, an IMU, and some other goodies. Students are introduced to programming using Processing and the Arduino IDE. But not everything is coding, given our pedagogic approach, they learn how to work in groups, search for technical information, organize time, and present their results…

On the Arduino side, we have jumped from having a good old WordPress site to enable communication between the students, to a full-fledged platform that is being augmented with new materials and courses on a yearly basis. The content works for both the classic IDE and the more modern Create IDE. At the same time, we have implemented a hotline where teachers can ask questions directly to Arduino’s support specialists. Of course, there is a forum just for teachers to talk to one another and the Arduino forum still supporting them; but we have learned that teachers like one-to-one communication because each school is somehow different in terms of equipment, network facilities, classrooms and policies, and social environment–teachers, students, and their families.

We have learned about complex deployments; for example, in Valencia there is a special Linux distribution called Lliurex that we had to hack in order to get the IDE running properly. During a previous project in Andalucia, teachers had no administration password to the computers! Well, we did figure things out and got the project to work. So big kudos to our support team that had to get out the hacker hoodie and code a clever solution!

Also, for the CTC webinars we make on a bi-weekly basis, we have changed our online seminar backend to have a much more efficient one. Now our calls allow full interaction with the participants that can be invited to talk and share screens when needed instead of simply having a chat line back.

Valencia is cool, isn’t it?

We had a CTC fair at the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, a museum by Santiago Calatrava in the shape of a huge boat put upside-down. There are fountains surrounding the building, the weather was amazing (remember I am coming from Sweden, where we just had the worst winter in 10 years, so anything over 15°C is good at this point), the organizers from CEFIRE (the teacher organization in Valencia’s region) made a great preparation of the location, schools arrived on time, the show went fine-great-FABULOUS… so yes, Valencia is cool, and the so was the CTC fair.

On stage we could see almost 30 projects being presented by the students, while we conducted a two and a half-hour livecast for those interested in seeing the projects from anywhere in the world. We held 15 interviews, but unfortunately we couldn’t show everything happening, considering that there were a more than 150 projects on display!

The following video is a summary of livestream from the museum; for your benefit, we have chosen some highlights of the broadcast I conducted throughout the day.

The interviews were conducted in Spanish, which is another reason for the summary; but if you are interested in the actual interviews, check out the following video.

Some seriously nice projects

I cannot stop being surprised by the amount of creativity students show when making projects. Even if I attend an average of five events of this nature per year, I keep on finding projects that make an impression in me. Students are always challenging any pre-conceptions I might have about what could be done with something as simple as an Arduino board. The one thing teachers keep on saying again and again is that it was them, the students, that pushed the process forward, that once they got started with the course, it was hard not to get carried away by the students initiative. The role of the teachers is playing the realist, trying to make sure the projects come to an end. That said, here some of the things I saw while walking around in the fair.

Probably the most impressive project I came across was a model of the Hogwart’s castle inspired by the Harry Potter movies. It took the students four months to build the entire project. It was a replica of the castle, so heavy that it needed four people to carry it around. It had dragons flying around one tower, the lights could be turned on and off… there was even a fountain with running water! The whole mode could be controlled via Bluetooth from an Android tablet. In total, the model took three months to construct, the students said, while making the electronics and software work took one month.

On the other side of the spectrum, I could play with a small arm wrestling toy made by a single student that took only 5 hours to build. You can check out the interview with the student in the above-posted videos. While the project seems to be simple, it is clear that the student had become quite knowledgeable in the craft of making projects, since he had figured everything for the project on his own without any external help.

One last project I would like to talk about was a small drawing machine comprised of mechanics from DVD drives that could replicate small drawings (less than 10x10cm big) using a pen. The students explained that it barely worked the night before, but that they finally figured out the calibration process minutes before leaving for the fair. The results, as you can see on the video interviews, are quite remarkable. They can export drawings using the open source program Inkscape in a format (G-code) their machine can understand, this allows them to trace any kind of vectorized drawing and reproduce it with their machine.

There were a lot more projects, take a look at the videos and pictures in this blog post. We will be presenting some others as part of the Arduino Livecast series in the the future. If you want to know more, just subscribe to Arduino’s YouTube channel and you will get weekly notifications on our videos.

Acknowledgements

The CTC Valencia project has been possible thanks to the generous contribution of EduCaixa, the on-site collaboration of the technical body at CEFIRE, the kind support of the regional government of Valencia – the Generalitat -, and the help of our old friend Ultralab.

From everyone involved in the project, big thanks to Ismael and Oscar, who believed in the project and pushed for it. Personally I want to thank Nerea who coordinated the project, and Roxana who was there making it happen from Arduino on a weekly basis; also Carla and Carlos who covered up when needed. Finally to Laura, who worked long evenings on top of everything else to make all of graphics needed for the fair.

At a more technical level, we have a new revision to the look and feel of the CTC project site coming, and it is looking awesome. Marcus, Gabrielle, Luca and everyone working with the UX in Arduino are creating one of the best-looking educational experiences ever. If not only the content is good, but if it feels good and looks good, then the experience will be excellent!

Do you want CTC in your world?

If you want to be part of the CTC initiative, visit Arduino Education’s website, subscribe to the Arduino Education Newsletter [at the bottom of that site], or send us a request for more information via email: ctc.101@arduino.cc.

[Photos by Pablo Ortuño]



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