A build-and-learn pedagogical framework for engineering outreach
Thng, Jing Rong
Date of Issue2017-05-18
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
With the introduction of the Smart Nation initiative in Singapore, there is a growing demand for engineering and technical professions in Singapore. There is a need to encourage more students to take up engineering studies, and also for the general public to be more technologically relevance so that Singapore and her citizens can transit into a Smart Nation successfully. This project aims to come up with a build-and-learn pedagogical framework to organise suitable engineering outreach activities for the general public, with a prime focus on primary and secondary school students. In this project, two robotic kits are designed - one for primary school and another for secondary school age groups. The kits are of suitable difficulty for the two age groups and can be assembled into robot cars. The participants are to assemble the kits with help and guidance from the trainers and a documentation website. Both the robot car designs are control via Bluetooth using Android mobile applications. The kits are designed to be aesthetically pleasing and appear interesting to the general public. Since the focus of the project is on outreach and not transfer of engineering knowledge, complex wirings are kept to a minimum with most of the modules being plug-and-play. The kit for primary school age group focuses more on engaging interest and thus contains only the bare minimum components that are needed for a robot car - microcontroller, Bluetooth module, motor drivers, and the motors and wheel. On the other hand, the kit for secondary school age group focuses more on application of innovation solutions and problem solving. Therefore it contains more advanced sensors and interfaces such as RFID reader and Time-of-Flight (ToF) laser ranging distance sensor. Thng Jing Rong U1321133H Project No: A2116-161 II The basic robotic kit for primary school age group was tested out at a workshop in Greendale Primary School and received positive feedback for it, with many of the students enjoying the hands-on portion of the workshop, which was something that they don't typically get within their school curriculum. The framework is then completed with a website documenting the required information to repeat the workshops and robotic kits in the future. It is recommended that future work on this project can focus more on the useful and innovative application of the robotic kits with several possible ideas and implementations being point out in this report.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University