Integrated STEAM Education

Integrated STEAM Education

17 Jan 2023

AEOJ school has a strong tradition in developing STEM projects and has received several awards at local and national level. One of the participations led a group of five students and their teacher to a visit to NASA, in Washington DC.

As a result of this recognition, we are one of the three Portuguese schools belonging to the European network TI STEM Labs, being recognised “a strong focus on STEM education that exceeds the standard levels for mathematics, and physics, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering and technology. The school provides the structural, organizational and financial capabilities to participate in such international project. TI STEM Lab Network teachers are proficient beyond the average in terms of subject understanding, technology usage and eagerness to learn and share” -

Some of the developed projects:

ROVER - a Sm@art Wheelchair

In this project the students simulated a wheelchair that could be controlled more easily and effectively by a quadriplegic user, since the movement and steerability of the chair would be controlled by smooth head movements, using position sensors to transmit the information about the movement to the robotic vehicle.,

Fig. 1 – ROVER – a sm@art wheelchair

Controlling the quality of the Atlantic

This project consists of a self-sufficient vessel, with photovoltaic panels for energy generation, which measures several parameters by monitoring physical and chemical characteristics of the water, and the detection of anything out of the ordinary leads to the activation of visual and audible alarms. This purpose was carried out by adapting a land robotic vehicle (TI-InnovatorTM ROVER) for displacement in a water environment. For this purpose, paddles were adapted to the driving wheels (later 3D printed). The design of the paddles to be 3D printed should take into account a design favourable to the automatic collection of possible suspended solid waste, as the vessel passes. Safeguarding the possibility of being crewed, a seawater desalination mechanism was also developed to meet the drinking water needs of the boat's occupants. The aim would be to monitor the quality of the water in the Atlantic Ocean.

Fig. 2 – Monitorizing Atlantic water

Developing a smart irrigation system

In this smart irrigation project, an optimised irrigation system is built and programmed, based on the concept of feedback engineering and control.

The system uses three input modules: an atmospheric temperature/ humidity sensor, a soil moisture sensor and an ambient light level sensor.

There is a single output, to a power control unit that powers a connected water pump. A program in Python will be developed to read the four input parameters, and a decision algorithm will be implemented so that irrigation occurs only when necessary, at the most appropriate times for the effective management of the water used.

In addition to developing skills inherent to computational thinking, algorithms and programming, as well as different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) skills, this project allows a transdisciplinary approach, involving aspects linked to biology and the development of agricultural species, as well as the sustainable management of water resources.

Fig. 3 – A Smart irrigation system

Fonte: AEOJ school