Posts with «steam» label

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.

Experimental sound generating boxes for Makers, by Makers

The brainchild of Tomás de Camino Beck, Polymath Boxes are experimental sound boxes. Using a Genuino Uno and 101 along with some 3D printing, these units enable young Makers and adults to experiment with programming and math to produce noises and tunes, from square and triangular waves to sample players and interactive sound generators.

The boxes were originally conceived by Camino Beck as part of an open-source experimental art project with the goal of stimulating STEAM in education, from high school to college, and to allow artists, engineers and computer scientists, or pretty much anyone interested, to explore programming and digital fabrication. They were developed and fabricated in “Inventoria”–Costa Rica’s own idea of a Makerspace.

More than just a finished project, these boxes are designed to be hacked and to help move away from more conventional ways of thinking when it comes to sound.

These boxes use coding as a way to “write music,” and to take advantage of the diversity of physical low cost sensors to trigger sound. Some of the boxes play with basic waves, just creating basic  PWM, and others go from there to create arpeggiator and interactive. They will be used in several workshops and experimental music concerts in Costa Rica.

“Electronics for the Humanities” keynote at Arduino Day

Lately I’ve been struggling with the STEM/STEAM approach to teaching computational technology. It assumes you’re either an artist, scientist, or engineer. What about the rest of us? I meet plenty of people who don’t fit any of these categories, yet who use programming and electronic devices in their work. I’m looking to understand their perceptions of how these technologies work, and how they fit into their practices. In this talk, I tried to explain some of what I’ve noticed by observing and working with people from different backgrounds, and to review some of the current tools for teaching a general audience.

Ultimately, I want us to get to a point where we use programming tools in the same way as we use language. We all use language, but we’re not all language-using professionals. We use it casually, expressively, sometimes professionally, in a thousand different ways. We don’t follow all the rules, yet we work together to share a common understanding through language. We’re starting to do the same with media like video, audio, and images as well. Maybe we can get there with programming and computational thought, too.

Watch the video:

Arduino Blog 05 May 15:12

School Kids Build Ontario Power Generation System Model

The STEAMLabs community makerspace teamed up with a grade 6 class from Vocal Music Academy, a public elementary school in downtown Toronto, to create a working model of the Ontario Power System. It pulls XML files and displays the live power generation mix from renewable and other sources on a 3D printed display on RGB LED strips. Arduino coding on a Spark Core provides the brains.

The kids learned HTML, CSS and Javascript to build a web interface to send commands to the Spark and explain how the system works. Their project was accepted as an exhibition at the TIFF DigiPlaySpace. The kids presented their project to adults and other kids at the event. STEAMLabs has also published a free, open source Internet of Things teaching kit to enable other educators to make projects with Internet brains.

STEAMLabs is currently crowd-funding a new makerspace in Toronto. They’re almost there, a few hundred dollars short of their target, with a couple of days to go. Help them help kids and adults make amazing things! When Hackaday visited Toronto recently, [Andy Brown] dropped in to show off this project. Projects like these which let kids become creators of technology, rather than mere consumers, is one of the best ways to get them hooked to hacking from an early age.

Filed under: misc hacks