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STEAM and a spooky Arduino pumpkin project

By George Eaton, House Tutor


Many people are familiar with the STEM acronym: Science Technology Engineering and Maths). But fewer are aware of the more recent STEAM acronym which also includes the Arts.

With the addition of Art, typical STEM projects can be made fun and more engaging to all students while encouraging more imagination and creativity.

This Halloween presented the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how art plays such a fundamental role in STEAM by creating a spooky Arduino pumpkin project. Arduino is a highly versatile and open-source mechatronics platform that many schools with STEAM being a fundamental part of their curriculum have adopted, just like at Collège du Léman.

It was used in this pumpkin project to control the ghostly sequence of opening and closing of the jaw and activation of the lantern and eye lights, in response to inputs from the ultrasonic distance sensor installed in the nose of the pumpkin.

STEAM Pumpkin electronics and night

Combining the pumpkin carving process with electronics allowed students to be very creative. The result was particularly rewarding, and students were motivated to learn the coding, mechanics, and electrical engineering of Arduino which, before the inclusion of art, may have been viewed with less interest.

Getting an early understanding and experience of these topics is extremely valuable for students going into STEAM careers. With the high versatility of platforms such as Arduino, these STEAM projects can be run in collaboration with subjects across the entire curriculum.

Watch the short video below to discover the final result!