RAK kits educate students on IoT

  • January 26, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Chinese IoT firm RAK Wireless Technology is partnering the One Planet Education Network (Open) to provide students everywhere with easy-to-use kits that teach them the real-life applications of IoT.

The Open-RAK Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Stem Lab Sensor Wisblock kits aim to bridge the digital divide by helping students with sustainable community development applications in their local communities. Early applications would include deploying student developed sensors for sustainable farming, climate change and air quality monitoring.

The goal of the programme is to build a global IoT sensor and data analytics education network. The network would allow students across the world to come together and gain hands-on experience in building IoT devices and modules, sharing data across the globe with each other, and building skills to better their own communities through the use of technology backed by Open education and research programmes.

Students are given a kit with various sensors and ready-to-build modules ranging from GPS trackers, CO2 gas, light sensors, temperature gauges and humidity sensors. Students can use these tools to analyse, store and upload information on local air pollution information, community farming, school garden weather data and more. Each individual has the opportunity to collaborate through RAK’s IoT data servers and share their data and research findings with other student scientists around the world.

“We envision this IoT programme will empower students from all around the world to think creatively,” said Maria Hernandez, electronics engineer and IoT education advocate at RAK Wireless. “Two-thirds of today’s children will eventually work with technologies in fields that haven’t even yet come into existence. IoT community-applied applications take today’s tech-savvy students through a more creative learning process, helping them to think out-of-the-box about the many real-world problems we are facing as a society. Through such technology applications, we intend to inspire and prepare the future inventors, scientists, engineers and social scientists of our world that will need to use technology to solve today’s environmental issues and global challenges, and the problems of tomorrow that our young students will encounter.”

Using the Wisblock modular IoT development kit, students begin with an industrial-rated connector, enabling them to use the same component modules from the rapid prototyping stage to testing, to the final product. With the ready-to-use software blocks, it’s simple to create an application to match any requirement. Teachers and students are also guided by Open-RAK-Helium-Ubidots partnership teams, instructional videos, online tutorials, curricula and professional development support.

“Open and RAK Wireless have combined their talents to create an IoT product set and supporting education programmes that take stem education to a new level,” said George Newman, CEO of Open. “Together we have formed an IoT educational collaborative with other leading IoT industry partners, Helium and Ubidots. Each member brings specialised expertise and complementary offerings, providing a diverse array of industrial quality sensors built and programmed by students which can now be linked via a secure end-to-end network to a full-featured data visualisation and analytics platform. This not only provides powerful and unique education for schools worldwide but as we envision will allow students to apply their technology to address many of the environmental issues of our times while preparing them for the technology-centric job market ahead.”

Established in 2014 and headquartered in Shenzhen, RAK is changing the IoT landscape by eliminating design complexity and accelerating time-to-market, for underserved and emerging markets, including open-source and industrial communities. Creating easy-to-deploy modular IoT products, it is working to grow a community of system integrators, developers and IoT providers who are passionate about taking IoT further.

Founded in 1998, Open creates and manages stem project-based learning programmes that focus on local sustainable community development.