Parallel Summer Schools in Greece “The Internet of Things … … in our hands” in Thessaloniki

The Educational Scenario (ES) “The Internet of Things in our hands” promotes the interactivity between teachers – students – educational materials. Through the platform and the activities of the ES, communication and collaboration between different groups, such as trainers, professionals, parents, academics, researchers or other relevant stakeholders from the same country or from different countries is encouraged. In addition, opportunities and capabilities to connect and combine STEM objects are provided to participants. The implementation of the STEM methodology with the support of appropriate ICT tools such as UMI (hardware and software) tools makes it possible to establish the relationship between STEM issues (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and newly acquired knowledge.

The implementation of the educational scenario is an exploitation of exploratory, discovering learning and combines different subjects. The interdisciplinarity of activities, teamwork and experiential learning are educational innovations. These innovations enhance the creativity and imagination of teenagers who seek different and innovative ways of learning. During the summer school, students had the opportunity to be “self-governed” by organizing and managing their teamwork to carry out the activities of the project. Experiential learning with the technical implementation of the UDOO device attracted adolescents since they had not been in contact with something similar, while the analysis of the data collected and their visibility in the cloud impressed those who had come into contact with Arduino programming. Some difficulties were caused due to the students’ cognitive background regarding the implementation of electronic circuits and sensory technology. These difficulties were overcome with the teachers’ explanations with simple concepts and in line with the teenagers’ pre-existing knowledge. Students of the high school (gymnasium, lower secondary education) showed particular interest in writing the Arduino code while both Gymnasium and Lyceum students were thrilled with uploading the data to the IoT cloud.

Regarding the prospect of a professional career, the most familiar with Programming Students expressed an interest in creating Internet applications. They expressed their desire and expectations to familiarize themselves not only with programming during IT courses as stated in the Curriculum, but also with the possibility of building sensors or advanced electronic devices / devices (eg UDOO device), analyzing data and coming in contact with specialists in the management of technical projects. After completing the summer school the students felt satisfied with their choice to participate in it and emphasized the need of organizing summer schools in the future.

Students proposed the implementation of cross-curricular activities related to issues of everyday life during the STEM (and not only) subjects of Physics, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering throughout the school year since they will learn experientially and in a completely different way from the traditional obsolete ones (as they have been characterized). They also highlighted the effectiveness of learning through collaboration and linking theory to practice. They expect to be prompted to think creatively and critically and to “design” their future based on the needs that arise.