Hardware Exploration & Development for Educational Lighting Kit

A Design for Good project to support Stacks+Joules in the redesigning of hardware to improve a learning program addressing technical skills gaps in coding. Sponsored by The Autodesk Foundation.

Hardware Exploration & Development for Educational Lighting Kit

According to data from the Department of Labor Statistics, more than five million young Americans who hold high school diplomas lack the readiness required for college or careers. This represents approximately 32% of high school diploma holders. It is believed that these individuals possess untapped potential that can make a substantial contribution to addressing complex societal challenges. Stacks+Joules is focused on harnessing this potential through their program, which aims to kickstart post-secondary achievement before high school graduation.

The program is based on the idea that students can acquire computer network and programming skills through their creative passions, in this case, specifically targeting opportunities in coding and the Internet of Things (IoT). This project aimed to improve the program and address existing challenges by redesigning Stacks+Joules’ classroom hardware for better learning and instructor setup, ensuring better quality at lower costs.

Extensive research was conducted to identify the best industry-standard solutions for implementing new courses, and five top solutions were chosen. From this list, the top 2 hardware kits (TP-Link Tapo and Philips Wiz bulbs) were experimented with.

After facing unforeseen challenges with firmware updates and security issues, further research and iterations were carried out, and a final solution was identified in Philips Wiz bulbs. Accordingly, detailed documentation was prepared, including well-structured codes, demo videos, presentations, and instructions for the updated curriculum. The final hardware was also found to be 64% cheaper than the previous solution, which makes it more scalable.

TP-Link Tapo bulbs. Attribution: K Shakthi Dhar Reddy

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