Posts with «events» label

Arduino here, there, and at all the EDU faires!

Arduino All Over

With the arrival of Spring, just prior to the ending of the academic year in Spain, teachers and education initiatives have been celebrating STEAM events all over the country. I personally attended RoboCampeones in Fuenlabrada, a small city outside Madrid, but there were a lot more: Robolot, FanTec, Cantabrobot, Granabot, ROByCAD, and even the technology and education conference PR3D.

Arduino has been present in all of the above-mentioned events, as reported by many of the students, teachers, parents, regional representatives, and distributors, that were on hand. I had the opportunity of interviewing a whole lot of students at RoboCampeones as well as Victor, one of the organizers of many of the 15 editions of the event, and Mati, a teacher from one of the schools participating.

Since the interviews were in Spanish and while I consider putting some work in making the subtitles to the videos, I have already published some of the interviews to the  Arduino EDU LiveCast playlist, which you could find here.

This is the interview made to Victor, the main organizer. In one sentence he said that RoboCampeones is the largest event of its type in Spain (CTC Catalunya 2018 had more students, but not coming from all over the country as in RoboCampeones).

Mati, from the IES Sefarad in Toledo, comments about here experience and about how much students get motivated in making better projects year after year.

Robocampeones in Numbers

2018’s RoboCampeones represents the 15th edition of the event. It has not always been in Fuenlabrada, as it was an itinerating event for a while, and it has not always been having so much Arduino involved. In Victor’s words, it started as a Lego competition, but in 2011 through the intervention of Mati and her college Julio from the IES Sefarad school in Toledo, RoboCampeones added the “open category” to the competition. This category was not only opening up for the participants to use other technologies in the competition (which consisted of the traditional sumo, line following, and rescue challenges), but also brought in a couple of years later the possibility for students to present whatever project they had done in a faire-like environment.

This year’s event had 2,000 participants, plus 1,000 kids that came just to watch. This is, in my opinion, an interesting trend that I have seen at the CTC Faires as well: not only do kids come to showcase their projects or to compete in challenges of different nature, they also come to see what others have done. It is certainly fun to observe some of the projects, see the robots fight on the tatami, and engage in endless conversations about how this or that has been built.

There were over 100 projects in the open category, which took a substantial portion of Fuenlabrada’s Fernando Martin basketball court (where the event took place), 176 Arduino sumo robots, and more than 20 different prizes. You can check out the pictures taken by one of our historical moderators to the Spanish forum and contributor to many open projects in Spain, Juan Manuel Amuedo aka @ColePower.

The Competition

At RoboCampeones, participants compete in getting the most points from the audience, in addition to being the best in the competition. The 2018 edition included a special challenge where teams had to build and command two teleoperated robots (using Bluetooth from cell phones) to compete in moving a certain amount of colored balls from the center to a corner of a squared tatami. Just imagine two teams, two robots per team (thus four players) and 16 balls of different colors rolling on the tatami… messy and fun at the same time!

The other categories were: sumo, rescue, 3D printing, and the open category. I was invited to deliver the prize to the best Arduino project in the open category based on my opinion (yes, I had the chance to judge for a project all by myself!). It was a hard competition, something you can see from the videos. I loved a candy delivering box made by a bunch of 11-year-old kids from Jaenthe eco-friendly shower by three girls from the region, or the funny robot head for dancing at events by yet another couple from Madrid. However, if I have to choose a project that displays excellence in its execution, I voted for the solar airplane-drone designed to fly with a 2kg cargo. It had two different Arduino boards controlling different parts of the operation of the drone: telemetry + flight control, and battery management. They made their own PCBs, installed telemetry equipment, and even implemented a text to speech mechanism so that anyone with a walkie-talkie in the 433Mhz band could connect to the drone and listen to it saying aloud all of the sensor data. See here the interview I made to Julian, one of the boys in the team.

The Trick: Open Your Lab After Lunch

When asking teachers and students how they managed to get so many incredibly relevant projects made during the formal education time, I got a uniform response from them: you (teacher) need to change you class’ methodology and follow PBL centred one. Furthermore, the lab needs extra opening hours. According to the educators, kids demand the technology class (or dedicated lab) to be opened after lunch time, once the class-day has come to an end, for them to continue experimenting and building their projects. Different schools figured out different ways to make it happen: teachers spend some administration hours sitting in the lab and let the kids do, teachers delegate responsibility in older students that want to volunteer and help their schoolmates, the lab management was included in the school’s library management that had to be opened anyway, etc.

This is again something we have experienced with CTC. Technology needs to become much more transversal and become part of different subjects, labs have to be open longer, we need to re-think the management of creative spaces at schools, and the school management has to integrate these activities as part of the overall pedagogic plan of the school. Technology is an important part of our lives, and at school it has to play the same role and have resources at the same level as gymnastics, physics, or other classes in the need for experimental settings.

Other Events

There were other events happening throughout Spain over the last couple of weeks. The following list should give you an idea as to how relevant empirical technology classes are becoming:

  • Robolot: A two-day robotics festival now in its 17th edition, which took place in Olot, and included robotics competition, a STEAM area, had workshops, lectures, and other side events.
  • FanTec: The technology teachers association from Andalucia celebrated the 3rd edition of their faire at the Faculty of Telecommunications and Informatics at the University of Malaga. They have an extensive program with a long selection process, prizes, and visits to museums. 
  • ROByCAD: Cadiz, also in Andalucia, hosted its first robotics day on May 25th. 
  • Granabot: Once more in Andalucia, a couple of enthusiast teachers arranged two days of activities including Arduino Day. 
  • Cantabrobot: In northern Spain, a small robotics festival in Colindres, Cantabria gathered 700 enthusiasts.

To the question of who paid for all of these, typically teachers arrange the events on a volunteer basis, get donated spaces from the regional or local governments, prizes contributed by companies, and sometimes even received grants to help those having to travel long distances to participate in the event.

Credits 

All the images featured in this blog are courtesy of ColePower. 

Arduino Blog 12 Jun 15:59

Don’t Miss Tomorrow Night’s Hardware Didactic Galactic

MAKE » Arduino 06 Jun 22:10

See you at Maker Faire Bay Area!

In just a few days, the Arduino team will once again be attending Maker Faire Bay AreaThose heading to San Mateo on May 18-20th will want to swing by our booth, where we are partnering with Microchip, inside the Electronics Pavilion (Zone 2). 

We have also been preparing a series of demos that showcase the latest Arduino products announced during Arduino Day, including the new MKR WiFi1010, MKR NB 1500, and Arduino Engineering Kit.

As is tradition, Massimo Banzi will take Center Stage on Saturday at 12:30pm PT for The State of Arduino

We look forward to seeing you this weekend in Zone 2! For more information on the program and venue, be sure to check out the Maker Faire website

Save the date: Arduino Day 2018 is Saturday, May 12th!

For the fifth year in a row we are inviting the open-source community to join us for Arduino Day 2018 on Saturday, May 12th!

Arduino Day is a worldwide celebration of Arduino’s birthday. It’s a 24 hours-long event–organized by the community and our team–where people interested in Arduino get together, share their experiences, and learn more about the platform.  Participation is open to anyone, either as a local organizer or participant.

In 2017, there were 499 global events consisting of various activities, workshops, talks, and project exhibitions for a wide range of audiences and skill sets. This year, we are hoping to pass the 500 mark! If you want to organize an Arduino Day festivity, please fill out this online form and submit your proposal by April 29th.

Over the next few weeks, make sure to visit the Arduino Day website to learn more or locate an event in your area. Moreover, don’t forget to spread the word on social media using the hashtag #ArduinoD18! 

Desafío STEM 2017/18 in Spain

Telefónica Educación Digital, the education branch of Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica, arranged a contest for students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for the second year. While the 2016/17 edition of the contest was launched only in Spain, 2017/18’s took place in Latin America as well. Just a week ago, the jury came to the final result for the current Spanish edition.

In the first edition, we in Arduino Education created an educational kit and content to assist a team of mentors that would in turn work with teachers all across Spain in helping them building projects within the limits of the contest. In the 2017/18 edition, we collaborated on a series of webinars for teachers hosted last fall. In both editions, I have acted as one of the jury members. The level of projects is pretty high in average. Considering that many of the participants come from secondary schools, it is quite impressive to see how they embrace the latest technological developments like IoT or VR and make meaningful projects out of those.

The winners of the Spanish version of the contest are invited to a trip to CERN to visit the place where things happen in science: the particle accelerator. Over 1,500 innovations were presented by seven-member teams within the categories established by TED: IoT, Industry 4.0, e-health, digital education, cybersecurity, and other technological projects. From those 1,500, the jury had to work really hard to come up with the final results. If you are among the non-chosen ones, you should know that the gap between the top 50-or-so projects was incredibly tight.

The following list highlights the four teams that were awarded by the jury. I have translated the information about the teams, but the videos from the students are only in Spanish. I hope you will find them as thrilling as I do!

Project 1

  • Title: AGROTECH
  • Topic: Livestock automation system
  • Level: Advance (junior high and vocational education)
  • Theme: Industry 4.0
  • School: Instituto de Educación Secundaria LOS OLMOS
  • City: Albacete
  • Description: AGROTECH implements a prototype to automate the systems to manage livestock. Using Arduino and a series of sensors, it is possible to monitor and refill the livestock’s food and water, control the light and ventilation of the stables, report alarms like fire or intrusions and eliminate leftovers. All information is captured in real-time and displayed on a website.

Project 2

  • Title: Virtual Detective (Detective Virtual)
  • Topic: Virtual reality spaces
  • Level: High (upper secondary)
  • Theme: Digital education
  • School: Colegio María Virgen
  • City: Madrid
  • Description: Virtual Detective is a virtual, guided tour to the school. The students have hidden a series of challenges along the way that are related to different school subjects. The virtual space is a gamified version of the class that helps the kids learn in an alternative way.

Project 3

  • Title: Recycling Is for Everyone (REPT, Reciclar Es Para Todos)
  • Topic: Other technological projects
  • Level: Junior (lower secondary)
  • Theme: Digital education
  • School: Colegio Santo Domingo
  • City: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Description: REPT is a trash bin prototype that can classify the leftovers and will run a lottery among those recycling once the bin has been sent to the recycling station.

Project 4

  • Title: ALPHAPSI
  • Topic: VR platform for the diagnosis and treatment of students with special educational needs
  • Level: Advance
  • Theme: Digital education
  • School: Colegio Calasancio Hispalense
  • City: Sevilla
  • Description: ALPHAPSI consists of an application made in Processing that connects to a VR head-mounted display capable of detecting the wearer’s head movements. Thanks to a series of tests consisting of tracking an object moving in the VR space, the system can follow the movements and will help generating a diagnosis and treating students with attention disorders.

The Desafío STEM project is an initiative of Telefonica Educacion Digital and their project STEMbyme

We went all the way to the pyramids and found Arduinos!

On March 10th, I was a guest speaker at Maker Faire Cairo 2018 as a representative of Arduino. I took the opportunity as I had never been to Egypt and was really curious about the maker culture there. You can imagine that different cultures are always going to adopt ideas in various ways and Maker Faire is a great example for this. If you’ve ever been to Maker Faire Bay Area, where the event is arranged inside some old hangars and known for its steampunk character, then you would realize how very different it is from Maker Faires throughout Europe.

Take for example, Rome, which we help organize every year (and that my partner, Massimo Banzi, curates) whose location changed for several years in a row until finding its place at the Fiumicino exhibition center and features a number of Italian universities and institutions that come and exhibit (in fact, there was a full CSI lab from the Carabinieri, the national police force, at last year’s event); but also from smaller ones like the one in Bilbao, Spain, held at an old cookie factory and that has the compromise to remain small as a way to allow makers to meet and talk to each other.

You’ll ask yourself: what kind of Faire was Cairo then? The truth of the matter is that Maker Faire Cairo is still a small event that gathers about 10,000 people at the gardens of Smart Village, a complex inhabited by tech companies ranging from multinationals to local startups. Thanks to the support of both local and international institutions (namely the U.S. embassy), the crew behind the event put together a remarkable show that is clearly going to grow over the next couple of years.

To start, the two days before the Faire, all the international guests and makers were invited to a tour to see the FabLabs, the city, the pyramids, the national museum with the national mummies (hundreds of them), and to get to know one another a little better. Even if I could only join for the second day, I could value the importance of this trip. It also happened in parallel with the Egyptian Maker Week, which was arranged prior to the event in an effort to raise awareness around the Maker Movement and its importance for STEAM education.

But back to the Faire. The whole event happened outdoors; in Cairo it barely rains, so they were running no risk when they decided to book a garden to bring in some open tents and build the booths. Not to mention, the gardens were located by a fountain that kept the air fresh, despite the heat of over 30 degrees Celsius during the day. People are used to the temperature, because nobody seemed to be concerned about it. Besides, it’s all about wearing a cap, sunglasses, and drinking plenty of water.

Engineering could be considered the main theme of the Faire. Most of the projects on display, from older and younger makers alike, were exploring different topics within the field of engineering: robots looking for mines, robots making cotton candy, fighting robots, drones, a “formula student” car, a wheelchair that could go up and down stairs, the FabLab Egypt experience, underwater robots, and so on. During my talk, when I asked to the audience about their field of interest, 99% of the people were or wanted to be engineers.

While engineering seemed to be the signature of the Faire, something that should–in my opinion– make the organizers proud about such an achievement is that there were other things going on. There was a decent amount of cosplayers that came to celebrate their geekness. I had the chance to listen to some of the international cosplay guests about how much work goes into creating certain elements of the costumes, particularly the gadgets are the problem, and specially if they have any kind of interactive technology. Yet again, cosplayers weren’t afraid of the heat either, even if their hours-long make-up work could easily be washed away by it.

The FabLab network in Egypt had a great presence with both separate booths for some of the most permanent labs, as well as with their collective booths to show the work they do in promoting the Maker Movement. Some of their initiatives are remarkable, like the “FabLab on wheels:” a van with a mini fabrication laboratory that has been traveling across the country for an entire year and that will continue to do so in the forthcoming future.

Small independent designers presented their work in the field of upcycling; I liked the work from a group that looked at glass, car tires, and wood as basic construction pieces. But I was also nicely surprised by a painter that created his own version of  “projection mapping” using cardboard boxes as a canvas.

The presence of Arduino at the Faire was simply astonishing. Most robots had something Arduino inside. The aforementioned electric wheelchair was controlled by Arduino Uno boards. There was even a vending machine that accepts cryptocurrency payments thanks to its arducrypto library! I was seriously impressed by the quality of some of the projects I saw.

The Faire closed with a concert with hip-hop artists MTM, an Egyptian band that made their comeback at the Maker Faire Cairo. The stage was equipped with the latest LED technologies, huge DMX lights, fireworks… That’s what I call ending in style! The party took place directly on-site, at the main stage. All the makers, cosplayers, and visitors came together to dance and celebrate an outstanding event.

But one cannot talk about something like a Maker Faire and not talk about the people behind it. The speakers, who came from all across the Middle East and beyond–had the best hosts possible: Omar, Ahmed, Madonna (sorry for not mentioning everyone, there were so many volunteers)… To all of you: thanks for a great time and for showing us around!

CTC 101: Giro d’Italia + CTC Faire in Barcelona

The last couple of weeks have kept the Arduino Education team extremely busy. While some of us were presenting CTC 101 to teachers all across Italy, others were in Barcelona for the CTC 101 Faire with more than 4,000 upper secondary students showcasing the projects they created as a result of the CTC 101 2017-18 academic year.

The one thing that really amazes us at Arduino EDU is how the CTC program has scaled since its inception five years ago. Back then, we prototyped our first full-year academic program and conducted a test with 25 schools. Our first faire garnered 400 participants, about 10% the size of one of our latest events. The earliest edition of CTC ran on Arduino Uno, consisted of 20 projects, was made in black and white, and included a mascot that we commissioned to the well-known Mexican artist “Grand Chamaco.” From that experiment on, almost 18,000 students have gone through the program. CTC has been implemented by 800 schools, mainly in Spain, Sweden, Ecuador, and Mexico, while more than 1,600 teachers have had the opportunity to learn under the guidance of the Arduino EDU team both on and offline.

In 2018, CTC 101 will expand to several countries including Italy, where my partner and Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi together with Valentina Chinnici (Arduino EDU Product Marketing) led the EDU team through a custom-made “Giro d’Italia” visiting Turin, Bologna, Roma, Bari, and Naples to hold special events and workshops to Italian high school teachers, together with CampuStore, one of our Italian partners.

In the words of Massimo, “The Arduino Education tour was created to confirm and strengthen Arduino’s efforts and attention towards Italian school. The hundreds of teachers who signed in to all the dates are a great encouragement for Arduino to continue the path towards research, innovation, and dissemination of the values of open source.”

Not only did Massimo present CTC 101 to 400 teachers in person, he also hosted a webinar for over 900 educators. In case you missed it, we have posted the webinar video to the Arduino YouTube channel. (Please note that it is in Italian.)

While Massimo was touring Italy, I travelled to Barcelona with Nerea Iriepa, CTC’s project manager, to participate in the 2018’s edition of the CTC Catalunya Faire at the renowned CosmoCaixa science museum.

The EduCaixa Foundation has been sponsoring this project for the last four years in the regions of Catalunya, Andalucía, and Valencia, with a great degree of satisfaction from both teachers and students alike. In particular, a total of 200 schools in Catalunya (one-third of all of the public schools in the region) have been sponsored by EduCaixa, providing access to the program that has helped teachers enter the world of STEAM via Arduino Education.

This year’s faire brought together nearly 500 projects from 100 schools. It is worth mentioning how much effort all of the participants put in building their projects. It has been a tremendous journey for students and teachers that kicked off in September 2017 and culminated at this exhibition.

We are truly grateful for CESIRE (big hugs to Rossana and Jordi for their work), the regional ministry of education, as well as Ultralab, our local partner, in organizing this faire.

COME AND VISIT ARDUINO AT MAKER FAIRE ROME THIS WEEKEND!

 

Starting tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 1st, the Arduino team will be exhibiting at 5th annual Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition. Those heading to Rome over this weekend (December 1st -3rd) are invited to swing by our booth at Pavilion 7 (Interaction) and join us for some inspiring talks. This year Arduino is also operating the official Maker Shop with lots of products and ideas that can help you find original gifts for Christmas.

The booth

We’ve been preparing a series of demos for adults and kids at the booth to showcase the new Arduino Education products and programs and the latest developments of the MKR family boards and IoT solutions. Moreover, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the AUG (Arduino User Group) Program, to meet the winner of the Arduino MKR FOX 1200 Contest, and to play with an interactive installation by Supsi university!

The store

At Pavillon 7, close to Arduino Booth there will be a Maker Shop by Arduino selling most of the Arduino products (including the latest Arduino MKR WAN 1300 (Lora) and Arduino MKR GSM 1400 recently announced!). You’ll find also some other interesting kits and Christmas gift ideas for kids, makers and developers, plus a selection of Arduino goodies.

Talks

The Arduino team will join the Maker Faire Rome’s program with some unmissable talks and presentations about Arduino innovations, new products and partnership programs with the following schedule:

We look forward to seeing you all at Pavilion 7 (check out the Makerfaire MAP in PDF

Desafío STEM + Arduino Podcast [Español]

Con el fin de apoyar a los nuevos participantes del Desafío STEM 2017, Arduino y Telefónica se han unido para crear una serie de tres podcast, abiertos al público en general, conducidos por David Cuartielles.

Desafío STEM es un concurso interescolar que fomenta el desarrollo de competencias tecnológicas, creado por Telefónica Educación Digital para impulsar la implantación de nuevas formas de aprender a través de dinámicas motivadoras y fomentar las vocaciones STEM.

Durante los podcast se abordarán los siguientes temas:

  • Primer podcast: 15 de Noviembre
    Cómo crear proyectos creativos usando tecnología digital.
  • Segundo podcast: 22 de Noviembre
    Identificación de problemas técnicos en la creación de proyectos.
  • Tercer podcast: 5 de Diciembre
    Nuevos usos de tecnología en el aula.

La duración de los podcast será de una hora comenzando a las 19: 00 GMT+1. Podrán seguir la transmisión del podcast en: http://verkstad.cc/urler/desafiostem

David responderá durante el podcast preguntas de la audiencia que se envíen antes de los podcast. Para enviar las preguntas, seguir el link que se presenta a continuación y llenar el formulario: http://verkstad.cc/urler/desafio-preguntas. También se podrá participar en twitter con el hashtag #desafiostempreguntas.


To support the new participants of Desafío STEM 2017, Arduino and Telefónica have come together to create a series of three open podcasts, conducted by David Cuartielles.

Desafío STEM is an interscholastic competition that promotes the development of technological competences, created by Telefónica Educación Digital to promote the implementation of new ways of learning to motivate and inspire students to pursue STEM vocations.

The following topics will be addressed:

  • First podcast: November 15
    How to build creative projects using digital technology.
  • Second podcast: November 22
    Identification and resolution of technical challenges in the creation of projects.
  • Third podcast: December 5th
    New uses of technology in the classroom.

The duration of each podcast will be one hour starting at 19:00 GMT + 1. To follow along, please click on the following link: http://verkstad.cc/urler/desafiostem

David will answer questions from the audience during the podcast, which need to be sent beforehand via this link: http://verkstad.cc/urler/desafio-preguntas. Twitter users can also participate using the hashtag #desafiostempreguntas.

Maker Faire Rome 2017: Call for Volunteers

Planning on attending Maker Faire Rome next month? We’re currently seeking volunteers to join our team during the event—staffing tables and displays, leading one-on-one workshops and demos, and providing technical assistance when necessary.

If you volunteer with us for one shift, you won’t leave empty-handed! You’ll receive a day pass; spend two days with us, and you’ll have a ticket for the entire weekend to explore the show. Water and snacks will be provided, of course, along with some Arduino goodies.

Interested in helping out at our booth? Please fill out this questionnaire, and we’ll get back to you soon!

If you are underage, we will need your parents’ permission.

Maker Faire Rome: AAAA, cercasi volontar* per il booth Arduino

Hai in programma di partecipare a Maker Faire Roma? Entra a far parte del team di volontar* all’Arduino booth! Stiamo cercando appassionat* di Arduino che ci aiutino durante l’evento dando il benvenuto ai visitatori e fornendo assistenza tecnica e supporto durante le demo.

Con un turno di volontariato allo stand Arduino, avrai a disposizione un pass per l’intera giornata; se, invece, sarai al nostro booth per almeno due turni avrai il pass per i tre giorni di evento. Sappiamo quanto sia importante il tuo tempo e quanto sia fondamentale il tuo aiuto al nostro booth, per questo motivo saremo felici di offrirti il pranzo e una selezione di gadget Arduino.

Ti interessa diventare un* volontari* al booth Arduino? Per favore completa questo form, ti faremo sapere prestissimo!

Se hai meno di 18 anni, puoi partecipare ma con il consenso firmato dei tuoi genitori!