Keeping things creative: Real-world learning from a remote perspective
Teaching students complex concepts from a remote distance is something that many educators have had to get to grips with over the last 18 months. Especially where engineering is concerned. Keeping things hands-on and with a strong connection to real-world scenarios is vitally important for students to progress.
We recently discovered this MathWorks mechatronics article by Mojtaba Azadi at San Francisco State University. Using the Arduino Education Engineering Kit, Dr. Azadi’s students assembled a drawing robot, which is one of the three projects could be completed with this kit. Aiming to foster independent confidence and strengthen the skills and abilities of students, this project is perfect for those teaching outside of the classroom setting or when running courses online.
You can see a few examples of what students were working with prior to bringing the Arduino kits into use.
How to teach mechatronics remotely
In Azadi’s project design, the robot itself uses core components from the Arduino Engineering Kit, including DC motors, pulleys, servos and a USB camera. The robot uses the motors attached to the pulleys to move itself across a whiteboard. Over several weeks during the course, students can develop a program where the robot can replicate an image placed in front of the USB camera.
Throughout the project, students utilize essential skills such as planning on a tight schedule, monitoring progress using a Gantt chart, and gaining confidence in their ability to communicate. All while maintaining a hands-on, real-world connection.
Learning from home with Arduino Education
There are three Arduino Education kits that support remote learning as well as in-class teaching; the Engineering Kit, the Explore IoT Kit for high school students, and the Student Kit, which is aimed at middle school students.
These kits, like all Arduino Education kits, also offer a wealth of online learning materials that assist both educators and students in the creation and approach of many different projects. There are also countless forums and resources that are readily available for members of the Arduino community.
The added benefits of all Arduino Education kits are their versatility and the fact that each one can lend itself to many different experiments that grow in scale and complexity as students learn.
Explore the potential of Arduino for learning: discover our different education kits.