Christmas came early for the TEASPILS project team! In the most recent project meeting at the University College of Teacher Education, the TEASPILS Spike instrument moved from prototype to pilot testing. All pilot universities received a nicely boxed Spike and accessories. Each Spike bears the logo of the respective TEASPILS partner imprinted on them.
The team went straight into hands-on testing the tools. The Spikes accumulate a surprising amount of features and functionalities that allow comprehensive measuring of environmental and soil parameters, such as e.g. light, humidity and temperature. Each Spike has two probes that can be poked into the soil of either one potted plant (e.g. at different depths) or into two different planters next to each other, so they can be compared.
The Spike has internet connectivity as well as an offline SD card storage. With the newest Internet of Things technology, users can communicate with the sensors and get real time readings. In the next phase, this will be supporting a chatbot, so children can ask the plants questions about their state.
The release of the Spike comes just in time for a special international training workshop with some 25 teachers from primary, secondary and higher education. They will participate in a learning teaching and training activity that informs them about the functionalities of the Spike and how to use them in classroom pedagogy to raise environmental awareness.