KUCHING – Some 30 students and teachers from six secondary schools took part in a unique online workshop experience aimed at introducing and raising awareness on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Organised by Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Sarawak Subsection, IEEE Swinburne Sarawak Student Branch, and IEEE TryEngineering, the IoT4Community project is among the initiatives of the Knowledge Transfer Programme at the university.
The project consists of two sessions of three-hour workshops, each hosting up to 20 participants fully online via Zoom. During the workshops, participants were shown how to start experimenting with basic electronics without buying any equipment and how to remote control other computers.
Participants were guided on how to virtually build simple electronic circuits via online tool Tinkercad, before attempting to interact with a real-life implementation of their circuit by remotely connecting to a station setup in Swinburne’s IoT Lab. The entire lesson was carried out without the need for any electronic hardware from the participants, aside from a computer and Internet connection for online learning.
“Even though IoT is all around us and is the core pillar to realise most of the intelligent services we enjoy today, it is challenging to teach because of its essential hardware-based hands-on learning” said Dr Mark Tee Kit Tsun, trainer and organiser of the IoT4Community project.
“How apt that our experimental teaching method also showcases IoT as a ground for exploration by teachers too,” continued Dr Tee, who is also a lecturer at Swinburne whose research interests include human robot interaction and assistive technologies, besides IoT.
Five students were also awarded in the IoT4Community Idea Challenge, namely Wong Ik Chan, Tiffany Lee Sze Thing, Jeslyn Tiong Ming En, Nathan Low Song Ern, and Benjamin Tan Ding Xuan. The students who successfully prototyped and pitched their innovative ideas for using IoT each won an electronic development kit.
Participants feedback on these inaugural workshops were encouraging, prompting the organising team to plan future sessions that cover other varieties of technologies and techniques. The team hopes that the project will help position Sarawak as a hotseat for creative and innovative locally-made IoT products and STEM education.
The IoT4Community project aims to conduct continuous outreach workshops and programmes in the coming months for the public to raise awareness of this already-growing umbrella of technology comprised of a culmination of Computer Science, Engineering and Humanity. The initiative will be jointly facilitated by the IEEE Swinburne Student Branch, Swinburne Computer Science Club, and Swinburne Robotics & Automation Club.
Swinburne’s School of Information and Communications Technologies offers a long-standing computer science programme with IoT major that is poised to produce graduates trained in designing, building and maintaining professional IoT systems. Students also have the opportunity to pursue IoT Foundational certification by Keysight Technologies as part of this programme, pushing them into the IoT forefront right at graduation.
With Swinburne’s Horizon 2025 strategic plan, its new strategy embodies the university’s commitment to bring people and technology together to build a better world. Going further, Swinburne has dedicated itself to contribute to society’s increasing need for transformative technology and for the human capital and talent to leverage it.
For more information about Swinburne, visit its website www.swinburne.edu.my, Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Instagram (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).