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Appears in:
Page: 7699 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2021
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.1725

Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference

INCREASING ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION IN NICARAGUA

K. Christopher1, P. Lane 2, R. Dormus3

1Grand Valley State University (UNITED STATES)
2Grand Valley State University/UNAN Managua (UNITED STATES)
3FAREM Esteli of UNAN Managua (NICARAGUA)
For 18 years, one or more of the authors have worked on innovation programs in Nicaragua. In 2017, the authors decided that the access to technology resources needed to be raised to help with hands-on education and to create functional, innovative products. In 2019, the authors worked together with the campuses of Nicaragua’s largest University, UNAN-Managua, to introduce Arduino.

The results of the Arduino Tour in 2019 are reported on through the Dean of FAREM Estelí (a satellite campus of UNAN-Managua). There were a few exciting products that the students involved in our program developed. Perhaps the most impressive and most helpful were installed in the bathrooms on the FAREM Estelí campus. At a time of Covid-19 the students were able to create self-flushing urinals. This may not be very exciting to those who are familiar with this option, however, in a remote, regional campus, this is a luxury as much as it is important for health. They went on to develop similar hands-free technology for the sinks so that students could wash their hands without contamination. Additionally, they developed a drip irrigation system for their campus. These are a few examples, but they give you an idea for what the students were suddenly empowered to create using Arduino technology.

It takes only a little technical knowledge, and motivated students will be empowered to make their lives better. We have seen this occur in Nicaragua on a campus-wide scale. Now, our challenge is to raise the country to another level. The idea is to do this in a two-pronged attack, raise the technological access and education in the universities while simultaneously raising these levels in secondary schools.

This paper reviews what has been accomplished and lays out the aspirations for 2022. The goal being to implement Arduino technology widely at the university level and introduce it at the secondary level. The purpose of this is to provide practical, hands-on experiences to students to help them gain understanding in STEM topics.

Nicaragua is often ranked second only to Haiti in being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Secondary school teachers in the sciences have even fewer resources than the minimal resources of the University Professors. The hope is to expose 40-50 secondary school teachers to the potential of Arduino and provide them with kits to practice with and demonstrate for their students.

Despite the poverty levels, we have learned that some faculty will spend their own funds to obtain Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and even 3D printers. Some students have followed suit at the university level which shows their thirst for knowledge. It is our hope that the same will happen at the secondary level once Arduino is introduced into the schools. It is an imperfect and unequal system, but it does increase access to technology.

Unlike in the United States where a battle of robots is used to challenge the student’s abilities in Arduino, in Nicaragua the needs are great. Instead, an Arduino Olympics can be developed around current problems faced in Nicaragua, based in the UNESCO SDG's.

An additional component of the 2022 Arduino tour is the desire to empower one or more indigenous communities with Arduino, so that those youth may attempt to create things they need for their culture.

The paper will detail what has been done, what was learned in 2019 from survey data, and develop a plan for 2022.
@InProceedings{CHRISTOPHER2021INC,
author = {Christopher, K. and Lane, P. and Dormus, R.},
title = {INCREASING ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION IN NICARAGUA},
series = {14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2021 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-34549-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2021.1725},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2021.1725},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Online Conference},
month = {8-9 November, 2021},
year = {2021},
pages = {7699}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Christopher AU - P. Lane AU - R. Dormus
TI - INCREASING ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION IN NICARAGUA
SN - 978-84-09-34549-6/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2021.1725
PY - 2021
Y1 - 8-9 November, 2021
CI - Online Conference
JO - 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2021 Proceedings
SP - 7699
EP - 7699
ER -
K. Christopher, P. Lane, R. Dormus (2021) INCREASING ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION IN NICARAGUA, ICERI2021 Proceedings, p. 7699.
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