Design and implementation of IoT based Low cost, effective learning mechanism for empowering STEM education in India

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Simmi Chawla,


India is a developing nation and has come with comprehensive way in modernizing its reducing poverty, economy and rising living standards for an outsized fragment of its residents. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education plays an important role in it. STEM is an educational curriculum that emphasis on the subjects of “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics”. In traditional education scenario, these subjects are taught independently, but according to the educational philosophy of STEM that teaches these subjects together in project-based lessons. STEM helps the students in his holistic development. Youth unemployment is the biggest concern due to lack of adequate skills. There is a huge skill gap behind jobless engineers and the question arises how we can prepare engineers for a better tomorrow? Now a day’s Industry 4.0 is a new fourth industrial revolution which is an intelligent networking of machines and processes for industry through ICT. It is based upon the usage of cyber-physical systems and Internet of Things (IoT). Industrial revolution does not influence only production but also educational system as well. IoT in academics is a new revolution to the Internet technology, which introduced “Smartness” in the entire IT infrastructure. To improve socio-economic status of the India students must equipped with 21st century digital skills and Universities, colleges must provide individual learning kits to their students which can help them in enhancing their productivity and learning outcomes.

The major goal of this paper is to present a low cost, effective learning mechanism for STEM implementation using Raspberry Pi 3+ model (Single board computer) and Node Red open source visual programming tool which is developed by IBM for wiring hardware devices together. These tools are broadly used to provide hands on experience on IoT fundamentals during teaching and learning. This paper elaborates the appropriateness and the practicality of these concepts via an example by implementing a user interface (UI) and Dashboard in Node-RED where dashboard palette is used for demonstration with switch, slider, gauge and Raspberry pi palette is used to connect with GPIO pins present on Raspberry pi board. An LED light is connected with a GPIO pin as an output pin. In this experiment, it is shown that the Node-Red dashboard is accessing on Raspberry pi and via Smartphone as well. In the final step results are shown in an elaborate manner.

Conversely, inadequate Programming skills in students are the biggest challenge because without good programming skills there would be no pioneers in engineering, robotics and other areas. Coding plays an important role to increase the level of knowledge on a wide scale and to encourage the interest of students in coding. Today Python language which is Open source and most demanding languages in the industry in order to know data science and algorithms, understanding computer science would not be possible without science, technology, engineering and math. In this paper a small experiment is also done with an LED light via writing source code in python. These tiny experiments are really helpful to encourage the students and give play way to learn these advance technologies.

The cost estimation is presented in tabular form for per learning kit provided to the students for Hands on experiments. Some Popular In addition, some Open source tools for experimenting with IoT Technology are described. Students can enrich their knowledge by doing lots of experiments with these freely available software’s and this low cost hardware in labs or learning kits provided to them..

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