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Adelaide Year 7 and 8 Students Learn about Sensors and Data Collection with the Thinxtra Xkit

One of eleven Year 7 and Year 8 STEM Collaborative Inquiry projects run by the South Australian Department of Education, the Mars Rover project assigned Kidman Park Primary School and Henley High students a formidable task –  to code and test an autonomous vehicle prototype transporting a sensor array which uses sustainable energy, in order to monitor climatic conditions and terrains on Mars.
This innovative and interactive project, facilitated by ScIoT (also a Thinxtra Partner) as the industry liaison for the Department of Education, uses a myriad of learning tools and techniques to help the students acquire key competencies in science, technology mathematics and engineering,  utilising a cross-disciplinary approach to learning that increases student disposition in STEM related fields and their development of skills in collaborative problem solving, creative thinking and critical analysis.

Students work in collaborative groups to code an Arduino vehicle (pre-created from a kit) which utilises its own ultrasonic sensor to determine obstacles and which will transport a sensor array provided on the Xkits donated by Thinxtra. The sensors on the Xkits include an accelerometer, light, temperature and pressure sensors. Each group will be provided with a 2m by 2m rover playground simulating a range of areas that could be found on a Martian surface including a dark spot (to test out the light sensor), a hot spot (to test out the temperature sensor), a seesaw slope (to test out the acceleration/speed of the vehicle) and mounds (to measure the angle of tilt).

The sensors on the Xkit array will be fired at the appropriate points on the course to stream data via the Sigfox network to Office365/Microsoft Azure/PowerBI for live graphic analysis and reporting by each student team.

Thinxtra, CSIRO, Microsoft and Charles Sturt Council were all industry participants contributing to the success of this project. Thinxtra is pleased to have helped the project come to fruition by providing development kits and free connectivity for the students to use,  transmitting the data from the Mars Rovers to the Cloud utilising the publicly available Sigfox network already live in Adelaide.

Dr. Andrew Baker, Director at ScIoT: “Thinxtra and the Sigfox network have the world of IoT accessible to Australia’s next generation of innovators. The network enabled us to facilitate collaboration and real-world learning of a type that we couldn’t have even dreamt of just a few years ago.”

Anat Efron, Ecosystem Director ANZ at Thinxtra: ” We are lucky to have such creative and resourceful partners in our ecosystem such as ScIoT, and we are delighted to support educational initiatives like this one. Well done to the South Australia Department of Education for setting up such as complex and multi-disciplinary project and allowing students to practice the skills of the future such as IoT, renewable energy and sensor technology.”

About Thinxtra

Thinxtra was founded by IoT and network experts who share a common passion for connecting things to improve business processes and people lives.

Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by deploying the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as building a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services to enable the non-connected to connect.

Thinxtra is backed by NZX-listed high-tech company Rakon Ltd, which has a history of innovation in communications technology going back some 50 years as well as the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards a more competitive economy.

Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 [email protected]

About Thinxtra

Thinxtra, The IoT Telco, accelerates business efficiency by connecting assets and making them work smarter. With our partners, Thinxtra delivers fit-for-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) device-to-cloud solutions in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macau. Born in IoT, we are passionate about contributing to a profitable and sustainable future through large-scale next gen operational efficiencies. Our customers benefit from new business models, better customer experiences and higher asset utilisation. We know how IoT creates real business value and we know how to deliver it with local expertise and global reach. Visit for more information.


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