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2 Ways Arduino is Boosting STEAM Projects in Classrooms

22 May 2017

The Arduino CTC 101 board on display at Maker Faire Bay Area. Source: IEEE Electronics360The Arduino CTC 101 board on display at Maker Faire Bay Area. Source: IEEE Electronics360Arduino has long been a tool for tinkering and exploring in the maker space.

Now with the help from Intel Corp., two innovations are bringing these capabilities to the classroom in order to foster science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) projects for students.

At this past weekend’s Maker Faire Bay Area, Arduino showed off its latest educational bundle, called Creative Technologies in the Classroom 101 (CTC 101), designed to give teachers a jump start in how they allow students to learn about these essential skills.

The CTC 101 kit contains 25 possible experiments that are reusable and supports up to 25 students. Targeted at middle and high schools, the kit is expandable, meaning if you need extra sensors or other parts you can buy them off the shelf and add them to the kit.

“This is a really good way to learn and teach about electronics,” Valentina Chinnici, product manager for the CTC 101 kit tells Electronics360. “Right now in classrooms, there are not that many projects geared toward learning about engineering or science and this allows students to get their hands on technology to create their own projects that they can then show off in a collaborative way.”

The kit includes six Arduino 101 boards (a microcontroller with programmable inputs and outputs), six education shields that are placed on top of the board for connecting electronic components easier, a set of sensors (light sensors, button inputs, knock sensors, potentiometers, touch/capacitive sensors, tilt sensors, an infrared array, a joystick, LEDs, buzzers, speakers, servo motors), component modules, connectors and other components.

Makerologist’s large educational Arduino board at Maker Faire Bay Area. Source: IEEE Electronics360Makerologist’s large educational Arduino board at Maker Faire Bay Area. Source: IEEE Electronics360Meanwhile, a new electronics start-up, Makerologist, made its debut at Maker Faire Bay Area in conjunction with Intel. Makerologist has developed an Arduino board that is a super large version of the original board. While the Arduino board is designed to work and be integrated to create a number of devices and experiments, the board from Makerologist is specifically designed to teach younger children about electronics — being able to see the components easier and identify how things work.

The Makerologist board is targeted at pre-high school kids in the classroom that are just starting their journey into STEAM, says Clarissa San Diego, the founder of the company.

“For younger children, it is much easier to identify with an object if they can see how it actually works and can touch different parts of the device without feeling they might break it,” San Diego tells Electronics360. “Arduino is a powerful tool but in the hands of kids it is too hard to identify how it works. This allows them to not just understand it but gives them a larger platform to conduct experiments.”

To contact the author of this article, email Peter.Brown@ieeeglobalspec.com


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