Texas Instruments (TI) today unveiled the TI-Innovatorâ„¢ Hub, a classroom tool that introduces students to coding and engineering design to prepare them for the jobs of the future. Most educators and experts agree coding is a skill so important that every student needs to know the basics to excel in a rapidly changing world.
The TI-Innovator Hub, a palm-sized box with a built-in microcontroller, plugs into the graphing calculator many middle and high school students already own, a TI-84 Plus CE or a TI-Nspireâ„¢ CX, and allows them to analyze and explain the world around them. It was created using the TI LaunchPadâ„¢ Board, the same technology used by leading engineers around the world to design cutting-edge products from smart watches to 3-D printers. For example, students can start by learning to write a program to play a single note, and then put together sounds at different frequencies to play a song.
“The TI-Innovator allows students to get hands-on with technology and not even realize they are learning important STEM principles, like coding, that they need to be successful in the classroom today, in college tomorrow and in their careers in the future,” said Peter Balyta, Ph.D., president of TI Education Technology. “The opportunities for exploration are endless; students’ imaginations are their only limits.”
Students at Heritage Middle School in Deltona, Florida took the TI-Innovator for a test drive as part of a pilot program with TI. “Before, I really wasn’t interested in what programming was,” said eighth grader Jasmine Jones-Pas. “But after I started working with the Innovator, it was like a whole new world was opened.” Students in Jasmine’s class used the TI-Innovator to write code that activated a motor, flashed colored lights and played music on the built-in speakers. “It’s really like every day there’s a new possibility with a new experiment and new results that you can get,” said student, Andrew O’Connor. “It is really amazing!”
The TI-Innovator was built specifically for use in the classroom and is enclosed in a durable case to protect against dings and drops. One system can be shared among several students.