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Submitted by Jon Mays on December 22, 2023

#MFR2023 – Exploring Arduino’s educational kits!

In ipXchange’s next interview from Maker Faire Rome 2023, we chat with Livia about various products from Arduino Education, another business unit from Arduino that ipXchange has not previously encountered in the wild. Since it was Maker Faire Rome, it only made sense to have fun, learn more, and have a play, and with kits and courses for middle school, high school, and university settings, there was tonnes to keep us engaged.

The first kit discussed was the Science Kit Rev 3, which features the Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect and an extremely hands-on approach to learning. With many sensors and the Nano RP2040 Connect’s Bluetooth capabilities, users can log data and track their learning journey in real time using Arduino’s free science journal app for smartphone and tablet. Eamon’s favourite functionality was – predictably – the audio waveform generator. That Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect is a very cool piece of kit in itself, so check out our full technical writeup.

Livia then showed us a model smart home built with Arduino’s latest Explore IoT Kit, which is hooked up to Arduino IoT Cloud for remote control and monitoring in the same way as can be done with a full-sized house. The PIR sensor in particular made for a nice home security demo, and, through the cloud, we could see how many people had walked in front of the house over the course of the show.

Eamon was then instantly drawn to a synthesiser kit based on an Arduino UNO that you get to make yourself, but a super-fun demo beside it featured Arduino’s Opta micro-PLC from their PRO line of products. Great for higher-level educational settings, Opta is an ideal companion for industrial automation courses, from a programming and a hardware point of view. In this case, the Opta is being used to control a conveyor belt, with the direction reversed when a light gate is broken by an object on top of it. Learn more about the industrial-grade, ready-to-deploy Opta micro-PLC on our board page.

Though ipXchange is geared towards commercial design solutions, we’d be doing our future membership a disservice if we didn’t support the engineers of tomorrow, so if you’re a STEM educator and you liked the look of some of these kits, apply for a consultation with Arduino to get your students started on their electronics journey.

Keep designing!

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