ARM and UCL have created a new education kit that aims to enhance students’ internet of things (IoT) technical skills and encourage more graduates to stay in Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) related professions.

The ARM IoT Education Kit has been designed to teach students how to use the ARM mbed  IoT Device Platform, create smartphone apps and control devices such as a mini-robot or a wearable health device.

©Flickr/Peyri Herrera

The kit will be used as part of a course designed to get students interested in starting their own IoT business or join IoT-focused companies, such as ARM. 

It is being rolled out from September by UCL’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in a week-long IoT module for full-time MSc and Continuing Professional Development students.

“Students with strong science and mathematical skills are in demand and we need to make sure they stay in engineering,” said Mike Muller, chief technology officer, ARM.

“The growth of the IoT gives us a great opportunity to prove to students why our profession is more exciting and sustainable than others. New technologies make it far easier to start a business and and there’s a huge appetite for highly motivated young people to help companies such as ARM deliver innovation that will shape the world’s future.”

The kit includes ARM mbed-enabled hardware boards from Nordic Semiconductor, software licenses from ARM and a complete set of teaching materials. UCL is also developing a second module for engineering undergraduates that would start in 2016.

Professor Izzat Darwazeh, head of communications and information systems at UCL Engineering Sciences, said: “Many students are not following through to an engineering career and that is a real risk to our long term success as a nation of innovators.

“Most students take engineering because they are driven to understand how the world works, from taking radios apart when they were children, to creating apps in high school. Engineering is about creative problem-solving and it’s exactly what we hope to instil in them again with the IoT Kit, which provides the tools and the knowledge to create devices and systems that could one day become best-sellers or even change our world.”

Earlier this month trade body EngineeringUK called for more action to train and retain engineers, predicting a potential economic boost to the British economy of £27 billion per year from 2022 if demand for new engineering jobs was filled.

The announcement comes as the world's largest education technology conference, Bett, takes place in London, where speakers like activist Bob Geldof are talking about the importance of technology in schools and universities. 

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