Here, interest in technology is ignited with traffic lights

– I have never thought that a traffic light contains as much technology as it actually does and I thought it would be more difficult with programming than it turned out to be, says Arvid in 8D at Flahultsskolan.

Arvid is one of the students in class 8 at Flahultsskolan in Norrahammar, just outside Jönköping. Here, the municipality has decided that all schools will work with Science and Technology for All (NTA) and the teacher Sofia Gunnarsson has been commissioned to train both teachers and students within NTA.

– I am very happy that the municipality has decided that we will gather around NTA and ensure that all our students receive the same skills and education in the area. It will be a strength when they come to high school that everyone has the same knowledge with them, says Sofia Gunnarsson.

NTA is a school development program in science, technology and mathematics. The program offers themes, also called theme boxes, which are based on the syllabi in the subjects biology, physics, chemistry, technology and mathematics. Each box has a theme that includes an education for the teacher, teacher guidance and materials for the students to work with. Smarter electronics systems have been involved in developing the themes Smarter products and The smarter city.

– It is always challenging to learn new educational material, but this is incredibly pedagogically structured and I can learn together with the students. In addition, there is plenty of material in the boxes so all students can work on their own, says Sofia Gunnarsson.

“Must start somewhere”
The material in the theme Smarter products is a further development of the BBC’s electronic card micro: bit. Students receive a circuit board with a programmable processor and LEDs with a sensor that can sense the brightness. The smarter city is based on the same circuit board and is supplemented with, among other things, a traffic light, a street lamp and a temperature gauge.

– One of the big challenges for smarter electronics systems is to work with competence supply to the industry. We therefore chose to start already in primary school and start a collaboration with NTA Skolutveckling to further develop the material from the BBC, says Anders Martinsen from Smartare elektroniksystem.

NTA’s school development program is aimed at the school’s principals and is run and developed at national, regional and member level. To gain access to the material, the principals therefore need to join the association NTA Skolutveckling. After that, the opportunity is given to purchase the material at a regional level and train the teachers in order to then be able to teach the different themes.

Attracts both boys and girls
The response from the students at Flahultsskolan has been very positive and both teachers and students are satisfied with the material. If the students get to wish for upcoming themes from NTA, solar energy, self-driving vehicles and more smart products are high on the list.

– It feels great to be able to program yourself and see a successful result of what you do. It gives a picture of what the technology church actually means and that technology is in everything, says Ida in 8C at Flahutsskolan.

– Environmentally friendly technology would be exciting to learn more about. Maybe a little manicure controlled by solar cells as a theme, adds classmate Moa.

– My experience is that boys and girls are attracted to professions for slightly different reasons. Guys generally want to experiment and test more, while girls often need to put technology into a larger context to become interested. In these boxes we get both parts, so hopefully we have increased their interest in technology, Sofia Gunnarsson concludes.

Picture: Illustration/AB Typoform