ISTEM+, KIKS, Micro:bit And The Big Bang @ Discovery Park

Our Microbit driving skills; could they be the best advertisement for driverless cars?!

Adrian Oldknow has been liaising with a number of stakeholders to progress the "Integrated STEM and more" or iSTEMplus framework, pronounced eye-stem-plus. iSTEMplus is detailed at this wiki, that all IET SLOs can view, join, edit and contribute towards (as soon as I see your join request, I'll make you an organiser and you can authorise others including your partner schools, STEM Learning colleagues, etc, etc). We're always looking for more SLO support if anybody is up for it?!  

Adrian's key contacts include the Micro:bit foundation, who have kindly donated a number of Micro:bits for the iSTEMplus Europe-wide "Kids Inspiring Kids" project.  You can see further details by looking at the various projects at this other wiki, where you can see STEM clubs across the UK and continental Europe designing STEM projects and challenging each other with them. Like the other wiki, please feel free to join and encourage others to - especially schools!  

We can also partner your schools and STEM clubs with European schools and STEM clubs.  It's extremely rewarding, and shown below is a project that is being prepared by a school in Kent. In a STEM club kick-off meeting with teacher Matt Wells at Rainham School for Girls, we discussed the "grand challenges" for future engineers, one of which is future cities. We explored future transport and driverless vehicles, and the girls in the STEM club wanted to explore the wider challenges of driverless cars for society: imagine the cross-curricular potential of that!

So we're making a fleet of line following buggies and a small town road system of Micro:bit controlled traffic lights. The challenges include deconflicting channels on the Micro:bit controlled vehicles, controlling the speed of the buggies with the scheduling of the lights (smart traffic lights), and adding signals for the pedestrian crossings to signal with the traffic lights.  Anybody ready to take on the challenge?  We're planning on using it for the IET stand at the Big Bang @ Disovery Park, Kent on 17 Mar 17. Please join in at the wiki with a challenge of your own!

We'll keep you posted about the event!

Phil (IET SLO Kent), Hellen, Tsige and Rosi (STEM Ambassador Hub South East England)



Donated Microbits are going to be used at the IET stand for the 2017 “Big Bang @ Discovery Park” in Sandwich, Kent, where 1000 students will visit.  They’ll be used by students for workshops, shows and more on 17 March 2017.  Microbits will be used to control traffic lights, run electric motors for vehicles and as remote controls for cars, to discuss how engineers can keep people safe:
• First, the teams will use Microbits to control the timing and scheduling of a small town’s traffic lights – top marks if all the sets communicate!
• Other Microbits will then turn control a buggy if the lights are green, but be careful of an intruder using a rogue Microbit as a remote control!  Can we use cyber-security and the internet of things to protect the traffic?
• For full enjoyment of our driving trials smiley, go to the YouTube links at and

Quotes from our trial drivers:

Rosi at STEM Learning: “Aaaarrghhhh”.
Tsige at STEM Learning: “Look out!”.
Phil from the IET: “You drive then!
The cyber criminal: “I can’t wait to control the entire town’s traffic!

Posted by Philip Moffitt on Mar 1, 2017 7:08 PM Europe/London


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