We have just returned from the NOPPA teaching and learning Conference in Oamaru. Teacher, Sarah Brown from Weston School invited Kai’s Clan to go and look at their Makerspace, and at the same time, we explored the ideas around their Electric Garden.
Let me take you back to 2017, where Papakaio School in rural North Otago celebrated its 150th anniversary. On that day, two former students, Gloria Hurst and Michael Trengrove, planted the seed of an idea that will change the lives of thousands of children in Aotearoa: the Electric Garden.
Code Club Aotearoa, a nation-wide volunteer-based coding club, came along and added digital technologies to the concept.
“The Electric Garden is made up of two parts: A wireless Electric Garden sensor that students install in their school garden, and a Learning Platform where students use data gathered from the sensor in guided Digital Technologies lessons.” – Electric Garden
Now, schools across the country subscribe for their very own Electric Gardens.
It’s such a brilliant idea and Kai’s Clan can support your garden even further. Here’s how:
Just like how Electric Gardens link their learning platform to the curriculum for Year 5-8, Kai’s Clan offers a similar setup as we support 5 learning outcomes:
- Digital Technologies
- Learning Languages – Te Reo Māori
- Mathematics and Statistic
- Arts – create your virtual garden and control the environment with your robots
Schools can use Kai robots with various sensors that are super easy to attach and then monitor all of the data in real-time. Since Kai’s robots connect wirelessly we want to encourage students to collaborate with each other.
Not enough robots to share around the classroom or you want to keep them clean? You don’t have to take the robot into the garden if you don’t want to, you can just take the PCB (little motherboard) out to the garden with your mobile phone and Kai’s Eye app. Nice and easy!
There are many ways the sensors can be used. For example, one student can then test the moisture level of the soil with Kai’s Moisture Sensor. Or, student 2 can monitor the temperature and humidity with another Kai’s sensor and student 3 can then go watering the garden with the submersible water pump that is included in Kai’s Classroom kit. All of this can be done with 3 lines of code, super easy! Students can also add a PH sensor or light sensor and then use the robots LED’s to track the data. You can see how students actively participate and collaborate to complete the lesson.
It doesn’t just end with collecting the data, however. We can go a step further— students can come back to the classroom, create their own virtual worlds, add vegetables as 3D objects on their physical mats in the classroom, code and see how their virtual plants can grow while monitoring the humidity sensor on the robots. The options are endless.
Kai’s Clan tick all the boxes for multi-disciplinary learning, starting from growing the students’ own vegetable garden, nurturing the plants, and monitor their findings through real-time graphs while experiencing all this in a virtual multiplayer ‘game’ environment.