Arduino's Explore IoT Kit Will Get Students Coding, While the Upcoming Oplà IoT Kit Targets Makers

The new kit, based around a MKR WiFi 1010 board with custom carrier, features a 10-step hands-on lesson plan for IoT education.

Arduino has officially launched a kit with supporting high school and college-level educational material designed to ease newcomers into developing for the Internet of Things — and it's called, entirely unsurprisingly, the Arduino Explore IoT Kit.

"This week we are launching our Arduino Explore IoT Kit, which allows high school and college students to take their first steps in building connected devices. Educators can make a complex subject simple," Arduino claims of the new product offering. "Aimed at the beginner, there is a complete set of easy-to-follow online projects providing students with a gateway into the digital world of connected objects and how people work together."

The company has already won support for the kit, following a limited release to early testers: "I would describe it as a very beginner-friendly way to get started with the Internet of Things, and a kit that you will be able to expand upon with your own ideas and components," says Oliver Kempel, a high-school student from Denmark and an early tester. "The getting started section got me really excited to actually get started because it inspired all these thought streams of what I could potentially create with the kit."

"By leveraging the Internet of Things, students are able to build more powerful systems that are no longer limited to only the resources they physically possess. This technological capability presents a cool opportunity for students to experience how they can be more powerful when they connect and collaborate with others than they can be on their own," adds PhD candidate Sara Willner-Giwerc. "Especially now, in this time of social distancing and remote learning, the ability to communicate with devices that aren’t physically near us has become even more essential than it was previously. I’m really excited about the idea of using IoT to help students think about designing for more global systems."

The kit includes 10 activities designed to introduce students to core concepts within the Internet of Things: The use of Arduino's IoT Cloud; collecting, processing, and storing data; graphing and visualizing data; serial communication, APIs, JSON, and web servers; network security; sensors, and actuators. A 12-month subscription to Arduino's Create platform at the Maker level is included, after which additional subscription fees will apply.

The Arduino Explore IoT Kit is now available, priced at €99 (around $117) including an Arduino MKR WiFi 1010 development board, dedicated carrier board with sensors, LEDs, inputs, and display, a moisture sensor, passive infrared sensor, and all required cables. The company is also planning a follow-up kit, the Oplà IoT Kit, for makers and professionals, to launch in early October.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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