TechGirlz Introduces Middle School Girls to the Internet of Things (IoT)

Young girl in front of a laptop
The Internet of Things, also known as “IoT”, is the technology that allows smart devices to be monitored and/or controlled across the Internet. For example, smart doorbells, thermostats, TVs, speakers, toys, wearables, medical devices, appliances are some of the types of IoT devices you might find at home. Beyond the home, smart meters, security systems and smart city technologies — such as those used to monitor traffic and weather conditions – are expanding the use of IoT to applications in cities and industry. With over 50 billion IoT devices and growing, IoT is changing the world in remarkable ways. IoT is creating new markets, companies and jobs both right now as well as for the next generation.

TechGirlz partnered with volunteers from Oak Ridge National Labs, aeSolutions, and Schneider Electric to develop a workshop called, “The Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Devices”, to teach young women about IoT technology and careers. In the workshop, students achieve a better understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) through a hands-on activity to build a smart device, connect the device to the Internet, program the device and create a web page to monitor and control the device over the Internet. All within 3 hours!

The workshop takes advantage of a fully integrated IoT developer’s platform from a company known as Particle. The low-cost Photon Kit from Particle, a WiFi connection, and a laptop or Chromebook is all the students need to build and test a fully connected IoT project.

TechGirlz debuted the workshop on November 9th, 2019 at the offices of STRATIS in Philadelphia, PA. STRATIS IoT is the leading smart apartment IoT Platform built for the complexities of Multifamily and Student Housing. Girls at a table using laptop computers The workshop was instructed by John Cusimano, an industrial automation and cybersecurity professional from aeSolutions. John was supported by technical assistance from Tim Harris of Schneider Electric, Scott Armstrong from Comcast, Jacob McEntire and Felicite Moorman from STRATIS, and Kathy Rutherford.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Devices workshop curriculum is available through TechGirlz’ TechShopz in a Box™ program which provides free workshop plans, documents, and guides based on tried-and-true workshops. They make it easy for anyone, anywhere to run a hands-on workshop for middle school girls.

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