In 2013 ScienceScope was commissioned by Innovate UK to lead a partnership which would integrate the Internet of Things with school education. Project DISTANCE, as it was named, focused on 8 schools across the UK and aimed to develop internet-enabled datalogging equipment and analytics software to create an information hub in the cloud, using an open-source platform. It was supported by a wide range of organisations including Birmingham University, Explorer HQ, Intel, the Open University, Stakeholder Design, UCL and Xively.
Distance was launched with the assistance of eight schools, deliberately chosen for their geographic location, expertise, special interests and the varied nature of their student cohorts:
- Alder Grange Community and Technology College, Rawtenstall
- The Bluecoat School, Birmingham
- County Upper School, Bury St Edmonds
- East Barnet School, Barnet
- Hayesfield Girls’ School, Bath
- King’s School, Peterborough
- North Liverpool Academy, Liverpool
- Writhlington School, Radstock
The project in action
Each school was equipped with:
- An environmental logging box containing a carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and VOC sensor.
- A weather station
- A generic logger
- A range of sensors including energy, carbon dioxide, temperature, light level and humidity sensors
The dataloggers were developed to upload data from the sensors directly to the cloud through the open source IoT platform designed specifically for the project, the Distance Exploratory. (Now known as the IoT@School Exploratory). Lesson plans and other digital learning resources were then developed to use these resources to enhance learning and the teaching of the curriculum.
The end of Project Distance was only the beginning of IoT based learning and since then ScienceScope has been working with 25 schools in Peterborough to further develop the concept of IoT schools. You can explore all the live data from the schools involved here at the IoT@School Exploratory. This year we will be embarking on an exciting project in Singapore which will make the Internet of Things in schools a truly global concept.