Sustainable waste management is an ongoing problem for all of us.
With advancements in technology moving at such a rapid pace, how might we better utilize some of these innovations to help reduce waste on a local and global scale?

Program Overview

The basis of the Maker Project is all about Sustainable Waste Management and how technology (Artificial Intelligence – AI and Machine Learning -ML) can assist students to change how waste is collected at their school. The goal is to have students use the Design Thinking process to determine what are the biggest issues with waste management at their school, design and build a smart rubbish bin (prototype) that utilizes artificial intelligence to manage the waste.

Maker Kits: Available for Loan from KIOSC for the duration of the program.

Pre-Learning at School:

Using the KIOSC Learning Management System (LMS), students complete the first the Empathy element of the Design Think process. Learners will discover how waste management practices can be improved in their school and incorporate this with the Smart Bin prototype. See the examples at the bottom of the page.

Day 1: At KIOSC

  1. TECHSprint – AI and Machine Learning 
    • Learners are introduced to AI. They use ML to code the differences between general waste, recycling and compost, saving the file to the LMS ready for Arduino Coding.
  2. TECHSprint -Bin Makeover with Illustrator Design 
    • In order to make the bin more approachable – students design a ‘face’ for their bin using Illustrator Design. Once students have their design uploaded to KIOSC’s Learning Management System – it will be Lasercut for their project and added to their build.
  3. TECHSprint– Assemble Part 1 – Individual 
    • Each students will build their first basic prototype, with the aim that they work in a collaborative group of 3 for the user to have a 3 bin set up.

Day 2: At KIOSC

  1. TECHSprint- Using and Adapting the Arduino Code 
    • Downloading the bulk code from the LMS – students are guided through the line code, so they can make small variable changes for their bin lids to open in conjunction with the ML software.
  2. TECHSprint – Pitch and Promote
    • In order for end users to understand and want to use the TrashBots, students will design an engaging marketing tool to promote the use of the bins in the school as well as educate the need for successful separation of rubbish. Students will use online marketing campaigns, with tools such as CANVA and Marvel App Developer to create their education campaign.
  3. TECHSprint – Group Assemble Part 2 
    • Working in their group of 2-3, students can merge their prototypes to be a final 3 working bin system – ready to film and add into their marketing campaign. Remembering that it is a prototype students should now market test and gain feedback from the school community to see if a fully functional system should go ahead. Students should include their data and ideas around the bin use being explicit for their school community and continue to test and refine the process.

Student Prototype Examples:

  • Using a smart camera and an Arduino microprocessor, students will design and build a smart rubbish bin that will open and close depending on the type of rubbish detected on camera.
  • Using a smart camera and an Arduino microprocessor and LED display, students will design a smart rubbish bin that will recognize the trash type and display a message indicating the correct bin the rubbish should be placed.
  • Using a smart camera and an Arduino microprocessor, student add a wheeled platform where the bins can be moved around the school on a line following system. This incorporates a smart app that track the bin and alerts students to the bins arriving at their location. (Ideas can be theoretical – it is a prototype)

Presentation Day

Students are invited back to KIOSC to showcase their prototypes and school specific ideas to the Maker Group. Date in Term 4 TBD. (Or online submission)


Curriculum Focus

Critical and Creative Thinking / Ethical Capabilities / Science / Digital Technologies / Design Technologies /Mathematics /Humanities

Duration: 2 day non-consecutive program, with ongoing elements to do back at school using the KIOSC Learning Management System. 

Special Notes:

To book this program requires a commitment of 2 days at KIOSC and ongoing collaborative work back at school. This project is part of the MAKER Project grant. To be considered for this project, please make a booking inquiry and KIOSC will contact you for confirmation.