Over the past two years, Canada has been focused on increasing digital literacy across the country. To align with this initiative, New Brunswick was the first province to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and position itself as the country's epicentre of cybersecurity. A key component of New Brunswick’s strategy is the facilitation of a skills and workforce development approach that focuses on creating a talent pipeline starting at the K-12 level. We were asked to develop a solution to engage young New Brunswickers, teach them the fundamentals of the Internet of Things and facilitate innovation at an early age.
To achieve the Province’s goals, we built the Blue Kit. A creative, low-code educational starter kit that helps elementary, middle and high school students understand the fundamentals of IoT. Using technology that complex IoT systems are built on today, including arduino boards, sensors, AWS IoT and Noodl, a rapid prototyping solution, students build IoT projects on AWS infrastructure in an interactive, fun environment.
The kit includes both hardware and software, allowing students to understand all the moving parts when building an IoT project. We built the Blue Kit using several AWS services, including AWS IoT, Lambda and API Gateway, and a full drag-and-drop development tool called Noodl, which makes the kit customizable. Schools and teachers can seamlessly integrate the kit into the existing curriculum and ensure content aligns with broader learning objectives.
After introducing the Blue Kit to two schools in New Brunswick, we received an overwhelmingly positive response from school boards, teachers and students. Teachers indicated that the kit was easy-to-use and the modules helped achieve the learning outcomes identified. Students liked the hands-on approach and over 90% indicated they would recommend the kit to other students.
Based on the results, we are working with the Province of New Brunswick to implement the Blue Kit in curricula in schools across the province. We are also working with major partners who have expressed interest in offering the Blue Kit at different educational institutions globally.