STEAMLabs launches Internet of Things teaching kit to bring digital education to elementary school students

Project funded through the .CA Community Investment Program equips teachers with tools to teach hardware and software engineering

TORONTO, April 29, 2015 /CNW/ - STEAMLabs, a non-profit community makerspace, has launched an Internet of Things teaching kit to help students and teachers navigate the world of connected devices, 3D printing and software development. The teaching kit was officially launched at the Toronto International Film Festival digiPlaySpace by a team of grade six students who used the material to construct models of Ontario's power system.

Key Facts:

  • Teachers need fresh tools to teach digital literacy programming. This need is even more pressing in areas of rapid change, such as Internet technology. The Internet of Things teaching kit is designed to help non-experts learn to teach fundamental principles of engineering and computer science in fun and engaging ways.
  • This past weekend at the TIFF digiPlaySpace, grade six students presented unique models of the Ontario power system that were built using the Internet of Things teaching kit. Students used 3D printing, Spark Core microcontrollers, LEDs and other electronics to build the model. They developed software programs with Arduino coding, HTML, CSS and Javascript and used real time data to demonstrate Ontario's mix of power generation technologies and model the challenges facing the power system.
  • According to research by the .CA Community Investment Program and Ipsos Reid, 82 per cent of Canadians agree that young people should graduate from high school with basic skills to help them succeed in the digital economy, such as computer coding skills. The team at STEAMLabs directly supports this goal.
  • Analysts at IDC estimate that the Internet of Things Market will grow to $7.3 billion by the year 2020. Developing early literacy in these emerging technologies is critical to ensuring that students can understand this pervasive technology and seize new opportunities in this growing market.
  • STEAMLabs will be holding a free training session on June 5th for educators wishing to learn how to use the teaching kit.

Executive quotes:

"We work to shift students from a position of consumers of technology to roles as active participants and makers. As everyone spends more and more time face-down in technological devices we know that teachers are struggling to keep students engaged in learning. We turn this thinking on its head, leveraging students' interest in technology as a means to get them thinking of science, math, art and coding."
- Andy Forest, Chief Instigator of STEAMlabs

"We designed the .CA Community Investment Program with projects like STEAMLabs in mind. Their work to ensure that students have fun and intelligent ways to engage with new technology supports .CA's goal of improving the Internet in Canada.  Technology moves quickly and we need to ensure that there are resources available to help educators innovate just as rapidly."
- David Fowler, director of marketing and communications for .CA.

About STEAMLabs:

STEAMLabs is a non-profit community makerspace, where people of all ages and abilities come together for access to high tech tools, to learn, and to create. It's a place where Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Math can all be used to invent the future; a place where your imagination can come to play!

Opening summer 2015, STEAMLabs offers technology camps, workshops, drop-in making, and memberships for adults.

About .CA and the Community Investment Program
Through the Community Investment Program, .CA funds projects that demonstrate the capacity to improve the Internet for all Canadians. The .CA team manages Canada's country code top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-driven organization, .CA represents the interests of Canada's Internet community internationally.


SOURCE Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

Image with caption: "A student project from the launch of the .CA Community Investment Program funded STEAMLabs Internet of things teaching kit. (CNW Group/Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA))". Image available at:

For further information: Ryan Saxby Hill, Communications Manager for .CA, 613-316-2397,


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