Things To Keep Tomorrow’s Engineers Busy In Lockdown

Article By : EE Times Staff

Today’s curious young minds are tomorrow’s engineers, designers and innovators...

Some European countries have cautiously unveiled plans to ease restrictions and lift Covid-19 lockdown measures over the next few days or weeks. Nonetheless, some kindergartens, elementary schools, junior and senior high schools will remain closed through the end of the school year. Homeschooling is a challenge for parents and kids, but one of its secrets is diversity, and getting kids away from virtual classrooms to conduct practical experiments can develop their spirit of innovation. At EE Times Europe, we wanted to understand how kids, from toddlers to teens, are having fun under lockdown. Evidence shows that creativity and observation lead them onto each new project, allowing us to think that today’s curious young minds could potentially be tomorrow’s engineers, designers and innovators.

A quick search on the web, and parents will find hundreds of How-To tutorials to keep their kids entertained at home before or after homeschooling hours. But sometimes it is worth stepping back and letting their imagination run free. Traditionally, boredom has been associated with a range of negative outcomes. However, Sandi Mann and Rebekah Cadman, psychology researchers at the University of Central Lancashire, explained the creativity-boosting power of boredom.

Kids have limitless imagination and adapt easily to the constraints. Confined inside four walls, with or without a garden, they use curiosity and creativity to explore new ideas and make them come to life. They think ‘out of the box’, just like engineers.

EE Times Europe editors have observed their own kids and asked their kids’ friends in Italy, in the UK and in France how they nourish their interest for science and how they are having fun with home science during the lockdown.

Here is a photo gallery of eight kids, aged 2 to 14, who show a genuine interest in science and its applications in the real world.

For those of you with kids, grand kids, great grand kids or nephews working on science projects and willing to share their experiments, please send us a message at We would love to start a conversation with today’s young, creative minds that will shape tomorrow’s innovations.

Growing with Arduino

The lockdown in Italy has directed schools towards online education. Many people, in particular the children, had to “re-invent themselves” using technological resources.

Pescara-based Elisa had fun during the periods of no homework with the construction of a robot that she called Roboboy. In the picture, Elisa is assembling the various pieces, such as the Arduino control board and the ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles. Everything is open source programmed via Arduino IDE. You can modify the default codes and work with the reserved pins to add more sensors.

Another tool that Elisa enjoyed programming is Microduino: an educational tool to learn or teach electronics and programming. It doesn’t require any messy wiring or risky soldering. With its Lego compatible pieces, you can build your Lego projects by using electronics sensors.

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