This month at Microsoft we are celebrating July-O-T, a whole month devoted to the Internet of things. With this comes some fun projects that can be easily adapted to bring project-based-learning into the classroom to get hands on with IoT at all levels from K-12 to higher education.
We're posting more links to different projects every Thursday in July at JulyOT.com so check back there each week, but here are the highlights so far:
Maker week - smart garden ornaments
The week of 13th July is our maker week, with a great project for younger students, or those new to programming and IoT. This is a 5 day project based around a Raspberry Pi and micro:bits. Students can program micro:bits using Microsoft MakeCode to gather sensor data about their environment and send the data to the cloud via a Raspberry Pi programmed in Python. The micro:bits act as a mesh network meaning you can build a network of sensors as large as you have micro:bits that can connect. Students can set this up around their school to track temperatures, light measurements, or even add additional sensors such as a soil sensor made out of wire and nails, and visualize the data on a dashboard.
A plant with a home-made soil moisture sensor in the soil
This is a great first intro to IoT, and can cover learning objectives including block-based programming, algorithms, electronics, the principles of Cloud computing and the Internet of Things, and data analysis.
You can find all the instructions on GitHub in a hands on lab format, broken into 5 separate stages.
AI week - learn about AI on the edge
AI on the edge is about running AI models close to your IoT data to provide real-time analysis. This weeks project focuses on training AI models in the cloud, then running them on small, relatively low cost AI devices from NVIDIA. This project covers training an image detection model and running it in real-time against a live camera feed, then feeding back the data on what was recognized and visualizing it on dashboards.
A power BI dashboard showing real time video analytics
This is a more advanced project, but is an ideal introduction to building AI models and running them on the edge. This can be used in the classroom to cover learning objectives around AI, training vision models, IoT Edge, data analysis, and data visualization.
You can find all the steps to recreate this project, as well as hands on videos on GitHub.
A sneak preview of our last week - we'll be focusing on all you need to get certified. Microsoft offers a certification in IoT - the AZ-220 Microsoft Azure IoT Developer certification. This is a great addition to any students CV. Some universities are even augmenting their degree programs with industry recognized certifications, and this is a great one to add to any IoT focused degree program or source.
The last week of July will focus on study guides and everything you need to prepare for this exam.
All the content you need for certification is available as part of Microsoft Learn, our on-line, self-guided, hands-on learning platform. Check out our IoT Learning paths.
There's more projects coming each week, so keep checking JulyOT.com to see what's new each week.