I love to learn. I love to watch and help others learn too. If you’re reading this; chances are that you know exactly what I’m talking about and you’re passionate about learning also.

I’m a guy who started a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) club that grew to the point where the demand for the project components outpaced my ability to get them to the club members. So; I retrofitted a vending machine with hardware using machine learning that helped the club members know what to buy depending on their learning goals and their past purchases. Simply calling it a “vending machine” didn’t seem to cut it anymore so I renamed the new machines the Brain STEM Toolbox. It was the perfect solution to make sure that STEM learners could keep working on their projects while the enthusiasm for starting something new and exciting was still high and the learning could build without a time lag. That’s when it occurred to me…

If I’ve created a way to dispense the STEM projects 24/7 that makes the learning process more efficient, gives the learner more support and options and me more time to grow the STEM Club…maybe this should be in the schools too?

British Columbia is on the leading edge in reimagining educational content. With the “Know-Do-Understand” model, there’s been renewed focus on STEM in the schools. Teachers no longer deliver a standardized curriculum from the front of the class. Now they “shepherd” the learning journey while the student works on projects accompanied by online learning modules. This is wonderful for the students because they learn by doing, by seeing what works and what doesn’t. It’s about the process not the product. The new curriculum is better for the students because they now get to build cool projects that excite them. Imagine a school project that’s a burglar alarm for your room or about how to build a replica of BB8 from Star Wars. This type of STEM education captures a broader range of learning styles so fewer students fall through the cracks. There’s just one challenge…

It’s much more time consuming for the teachers to deliver this new, learner-centred and interactive STEM learning than it was to deliver the former standardized curriculum. To give teachers more time to teach; the Brain STEM Toolbox gets the projects into the hands of the students immediately.

Six BC schools are set to launch Brain STEM Toolboxes starting September 2018. Now the students can buy the project components from the vending machine and start working on it right away. The teachers don’t have to wait for the parents to run around finding the proper components, the students don’t have to wait to start working and potentially losing their learning momentum and the parents don’t have to struggle to find out which wires and connectors to buy. Everybody wins. The machine learning the Brain STEM Toolbox uses, allows the machine to take data from the repeated purchases to constantly evolve its ability to help the student decide what components to buy next. The Brain STEM Toolbox even recommends purchases based on knowing what the student has bought previously as some components can be reused from project to project. Payment is easy using cash, credit or a digital wallet.

I’d love to talk to you about your school and how the Brain STEM Toolbox can be part of the curriculum. Check out the video below and then click on the contact us button so we can get you started with some information right away.

Oh, and if you’re curious about where the name SMRT1 came from; yes it is a nod to Homer Simpson. It’s also my way of pointing out that one can still be wildly successful…even without an “A”.