I think we all know by now that STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development.
The STEM acronym was introduced in 2001 by scientific administrators at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Did you know that, prior to this, they had been using the term SMET (science, mathematics, engineering, and technology), but — for some reason — SMET didn’t catch on.
In hindsight, it’s fortunate that they didn’t swap out “technology” with “geography” because this would have resulted in SMEG, which was the inoffensive expletive that came to prominence via its use in the British science fiction situation comedy Red Dwarf. In fact, for your delectation and delight, I just found this video, which purports to show every “smeg” from seasons 1 through 8 in chronological order.
The scary thing is that I remember each and every one of these “smegs,” but that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about.
My chum Alvin in the UK just sent me an email with the subject line: “Very nice STEM kit” accompanied by a link to the Keyestudio Smart Home Kit on AliExpress. Costing only US$49.99, this really is a rather nice kit that boasts a bunch of parts.
In addition to the prefabricated wooden pieces that slot together to form a miniature house, we have a bunch of input devices in the form of a button sensor, an ambient light sensor, a PIR motion sensor, a gas sensor, a humidity sensor (air), and a humidity sensor (soil).
With regard to output actuators and devices, we have a buzzer, a fan, a servo motor, a relay module, white and yellow LED modules, an LCD display, and a Bluetooth module.
On top of all this, we have a Keyestudio PLUS Control Board, which is compatible with an Arduino Uno, along with a Keyestudio Shield that helps interface the control board to the sensors and actuators.
I can easily see this kit in public schools and home-school settings. If I had an older kid or a young adult roaming around the house, I would jump at this little beauty.
As it is, I’m tempted to purchase one to play with myself. The only things that are holding me back are lack of time and lack of funds (sob sob). How about you? Do you have a young friend or family member who would be delighted to find this kit in their Christmas Stocking?