Giving pupils unrivalled opportunities to embrace their future is integral to life at Haileybury, and The Arduino-STEM Club is one of our latest initiatives to help us do just that. An evolution of the Engineering Club, The Arduino-STEM Club gives pupils access to the interactive SparkFun Inventor Kit to design and produce electronic control systems.
What are Arduino boards?
With a club name coined from a main component of the kit, the Arduino boards, this presents a unique opportunity to work with some of the best learning tools available.
The Arduino boards work by reading inputs which can include a finger on a button or a light on a sensor or even a Twitter message. It then turns this input into an output. Outputs can range from turning on a motor, an LED or publishing something online.
What the pupils learn
Far from being a hands-off activity, pupils are actively involved in the process, essentially telling the board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board. This interaction demands an understanding of the unique Arduino programming language, and the Arduino Software.
Throughout the term, pupils will work on projects across light and sound, motion and temperature and robotics. The most inspiring thing is that the world of STEM is unlimited, and they can apply their new skills in all kinds of ways. Currently, they are exploring a Christmas themed jukebox that automatically plays a seasonal greeting and tune when an ultrasonic distance sensor activates it.
A path to a brighter future
The club aims to give pupils a valuable opportunity to learn beyond the established curricula and combine creative STEM skills for real-world results.
Madi from Removes explains, “I enjoyed STEM as I was able to learn interesting topics which I would typically not learn about in core lessons”.
This breaks with tradition in most science lesson formats, by encouraging them to think like the next generation of scientists and artists that they are. Ultimately, it is all about exercises that are grounded in challenges with tangible outcomes and the application of 21st-century skills.