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IoT Your Space Workshop Recap

Students holding their final projects and instructors

On March 17th ChickTech NYC returned to Blue Studios to host their third workshop of 2019. In this workshop the students learned about the fundamentals of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the idea of connecting all sorts of things, not just computers and smartphones, to the internet. Each student created their own IoT enabled room protection device! Throughout the workshop each student configured their device so that when it detected motion it sent an email alerting them that someone had entered their room. So cool!

The day started off with donuts, juice, and introductions led by our fantastic instructors Janie and Andrew from Deloitte. The instructors spoke about their experiences as consultants for factories producing IoT devices and everyone was excited to quickly get working on the projects. There was a lot to do in 5 short hours!

The first step Janie and Andrew guided students through was using a website called IFTTT (If this then that) to create a webhook which enables the device to send an email to the student. After setting up their webhook it was time to start building circuits. Each student was provided with an arduino, which is essentially a little computer, a motion sensor, a buzzer, a battery, a light bulb, and some wires. For students who attended the soft circuits workshop, the first step was familiar. The goal was to create a circuit and code that would make a light bulb blink. That first blink was definitely one of the day’s highlights!

Soon it was time for larger challenges, and the students put together the circuits for their room protection device. As you can see from the image below, the circuit required connecting many parts. Teaching Assistants Zoe and Ruth moved between students answering questions, and were very impressed with how quickly everyone constructed their circuits!

One student’s finished circuit

After uploading the code to the arduino it was a good stopping point for lunch, and time for a game break! Students, teachers, and ChickTech volunteers joined in for laughter and a variety of improv games before munching on some tasty Panera Bread sandwiches.

After lunch it was time for students to customize their projects. Students customized the websites used to turn on or snooze the device and used a colorful assortment of pens, stickers, and gems to decorate their devices.

One student’s customized website

Students decorating their IoT room protection devices

By the end of the day each student left with their own unique IoT enabled room protection device they were excited to share with their loved ones and try out at home! Great work everyone!

Huge thanks to Blue Studios for hosting us again into their colorful and welcoming space, to Deloitte for providing the materials, and to our facilitators, TAs, and volunteers!

The next workshop will be on Saturday, April 20 at the NYPL.

Written by Zoe Peterson

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