Like every year we supported the CodeWeekEU. At the 4th Social Hackathon of our neighbors IntegrA Lahr gemeinnützige GmbH our whole team was involved as supporters.
Due to the current Corona situation, the whole CodeWeek was held as an online event. Of course, we followed this decision and thought about a very special concept. We have been fascinated by the topic TheThingsNetwork (TTN) for a long time. The community-based structure and the open-source approach is, in our opinion, suitable for educational purposes. The advantage of this is the independence from commercial providers and the fascination of the often unknown high reach with the LoRaWAN technology. In addition, the example of TTN network topologies, the client-server structure, and protocols as well as a layer model in networks can be easily explained to young people.
Since we have been working on this topic for several years, the preparations for the hackathon actually started in 2019, when we submitted the idea „LoRaWAN for Lahr“ to a citizens‘ ideas competition of the city. To our surprise, the topic was well received by the citizens of the city and was voted one of the most popular projects.
For our hackathon, we therefore considered that the children and young people get hardware from us in advance to build TTN mappers. This device uses a GPS sensor to determine where in the city there is network coverage. The coverage can be displayed on a map of the region and helps other users.
After we got to know the microcontroller and the programming at the beginning of the event, we dealt with the construction of the mapper in the second part. The young people were very motivated to continue working on the topic and came up with more ideas for applications:
- how long does the bus still need until it actually arrives?
- intelligent car counter with a sensor
- combining the transmitter with a camera to count (maybe even determine) birds in a bird house
- early warning system for floods
- are there still parking spaces available?
- monitoring of beehives for beekeepers
We enjoyed the event very much and will continue to support events on the topic of information technology and technology for children and young people.
For sure next year, at CodeWeek2021!