In the culmination of our Steam Innovators Program, students complete the Electrical Engineering Design Challenge. In this kit, they build a nonvocal communication device utilizing a code that they develop to send messages via colored LEDS.
Nonvocal is an umbrella term that refers to verbal communication without the element of voice. Meaning, nonvocal communication elements can include “the use of unspoken symbols (or gestures) to create meaning.”
The program incorporates aspects of the Engineering Design Process to develop prototypes—a skill that encourages students to think like innovators. As you’ll remember from our Breadboard DIY Kit, a breadboard allows students to test out what works and what doesn’t.
The Electrical Engineering Design Challenge is our culmination project after students have completed seven other circuit-based projects leading up to the challenge. Breadboards and batteries allow students to create projects in the classroom that would otherwise be difficult to achieve in this setting.
Some of the materials in this kit include the breadboard, CR2032 battery and holder, LEDs, copper tape, plug-to-plug jumper wires, and your glove. The blank breadboard is used to plan out and diagram your circuit.
In this kit, students assemble the piece of wearable technology, illustrate the circuit, create their code using their Design Challenge Workbook, then test the code and use it to communicate with other students! The workbook has all your instructions, a place to design your code, and all your blueprints.
A blueprint is a two-dimensional set of drawings that provides a detailed visual representation of how an architect wants a building to look. Blueprints typically specify a building’s dimensions, construction materials, and the exact placement of all its components.
Here you can see two students at SAR Academy, in Riverdale, NY using their nonvocal communication gloves to transmit their secret messages to each other.
Because the electronic device is wearable and uses LEDS, it allows for the sneakiest of messages in the dark. Students practice their hand at constructing a simple circuit and then put it to practical application. Have fun deciphering messages!