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IEEE Sarawak’s IoT4Community 2023 Workshop: Bridging Theory and Practice in IoT Education

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On Saturday, 18 November 2023, the IEEE Sarawak Subsection, in collaboration with the IEEE Swinburne Sarawak Student Branch (IEEE SSSB), organized the “IoT4Community 2023” workshop. This comprehensive educational event on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies also saw significant contributions from the Swinburne Computer Science Club and the Swinburne Robotics Club, enhancing the overall learning experience.

The workshop began with an introduction to the Cytron Maker Feather S3, a microcontroller with built-in WiFi connectivity, ideal for IoT applications. Participants explored the basics of powering and using electronic components, focusing on voltage levels and current device requirements. The practical use of a breadboard was essential in teaching the effective connection of electronic components, including power distribution and wiring techniques.

Advanced sessions involved wiring techniques and integration of components like the NeoPixel Ring and the MPU6050 motion sensor. A substantial portion was dedicated to programming and utilizing cloud services, such as setting up PCs for IoT development, programming the Feather microcontroller, and employing Blynk, a cloud service designed for IoT applications. Building and using a cloud dashboard with Blynk was an integral part of the training, enabling participants to control and monitor IoT devices remotely.

The workshop offered a thorough overview of IoT, its role, the prevalent methods for building IoT systems, and the utilization of the Internet in these systems. The session culminated with suggestions for potential IoT projects and resources for further learning, including online tutorials and guides for Arduino programming and NeoPixel control.

This year’s IoT4Community workshop was particularly special as it was geared towards encouraging more future women in engineering. This focus aligned seamlessly with the support provided by the IEEE STEM Grant 2023 and IEEE TryEngineering, making the event possible.

The session was interactive, with 29 participants, mostly secondary school students. They appreciated the hands-on learning experience and the opportunity to learn about IoT from experienced professionals. The clear and concise explanations and the availability of resources for further learning were highly praised.

The workshop was conducted by IEEE Member and Swinburne Sarawak staff Dr. Mark Tee Kit Tsun, with assistance from graduate and undergraduate students of the IEEE Swinburne Sarawak Student Branch and members of the Swinburne Computer Science and Robotics Clubs.

Ong Chin Ann
Executive Committee Member (Communication & Promotion), IEEE Sarawak Subsection 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2023-2024 IEEE Senior Member