The ARD2-INNOV8 story is a story of innovation and collaboration; it is a story of perseverance, life-long learning, and community. Seven Vinton and Mark Trezise are both technology enthusiasts. Their passion for learning inspired them to form a partnership to help make this learning available to others via online videos, learning resources, and learning seminars & expos.

During one of these student seminars Seven and Mark started to discuss ways to make Arduino programming easier for students. They had used many devices which aimed to make Arduino programming easier, however, all of these devices fell short in one way or another.

Seven and Mark met with the CEO of Wiltronics, Richard Wilson, in December of 2016 to discuss how they could work together to promote learning of technologies like the Arduino devices, and at this meeting they aired their frustrations about the failings of the available technologies. Richard’s answer was simple: “Let’s make our own!”

From this meeting the prototype design for the ARD2-INNOV8 shield was developed by Seven and Mark along with its name, and upon receiving these designs Richard enlisted the help of his colleague Ben Sieira at CognetronicS to design the wiring layout and electronics engineering for the shield.

As previously mentioned, this story is a story of collaboration, however, this story is a little different from other stories you may have heard, because Seven is a secondary school teacher, and Mark is a student (year 10 at the time). This collaboration between teacher, student, and industry experts is rare, but it is a form of collaboration which needs to happen more if our country is going to be competitive in the world’s technology market.

This partnership is truly innovative, which is why the name ARD2-INNOV8 was chosen for the shield. The ARD2-INNOV8 shield is a piece of technology designed for students and teachers by a student and teacher in collaboration with two great Australian technology companies.

This story should inspire you to realise that with effort, creativity, and thinking, you could become the creator of the next innovative piece of technology!