Every week, Junior School students with a passion for all things Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths put their minds to the test at STEaMologists Club.

Throughout the year, students in Years 4 to 6 plan, design, research and create innovative inventions to solve real-world problems.

In this week’s ‘Spotlight on STEaM’, we take a look at Year 4 students Cassidy, Valentine and Elizabeth who have been hard at work on their project, the iGlasses.

Using a GoPro, Raspberry Pi computer, extensive software and 3D printing technology, the iGlasses have been designed to help people who have difficulty reading.

They are fitted with a camera and connected to a set of headphones to turn words into audio.

The camera takes a photo of words, either on a computer or in a book, and sends it to the Raspberry Pi computer, which scans it, translates it into audio and plays back to you through the headphones.

Valentine said she was inspired to create the project after she was diagnosed with dyslexia.

“It doesn’t just have to help dyslexic people though, it could help people who are just starting to read or people who are blind,” she said.

“We carefully chose headphones because sometimes earphones don’t fit everyone and there’s also a speaker as well. It takes a picture of the words and reads them back to you, and it’s pretty quick.

“I proposed the design while we were in lockdown and Mr Ussi told me over a Skype chat that it had been chosen for STEaMologists Club so I got to choosing my team.”

Valentine explains the iGlasses
Valentine explains the iGlasses

Cassidy, who was also a part of STEaMologists Club in Year 3, said they had faced a number of different of challenges and failures before deciding on the final design.

“We’ve tried a few different times to 3D print the glasses, but the first time they were too small and then the second time we filled in the lenses and we didn’t want that,” she said.

“Our mentor also made us something to show us how the technology will work. He had a little speaker and connected it all up, but it spoke very slowly and with no emotions.

“It wasn’t fluent. It needs to sound more interesting otherwise no one will learn different voices or emotions and there were so many wires connected to the computer.”

Even after a long day at school, the girls say they “love” going to STEaMologists Club to keep working away on their iGlasses.

“You learn new things – we’ve done coding and we used wires and learnt how to do all sorts of computer stuff,” Cassidy said.

“It’s been fun working through it,” Elizabeth added.