SMART:Blox S1 Programming Set for Primary Education S.T.E.M.

Engage in hands-on STEM learning with the S1 Programming Set!

The S1 Programming Set is a learning toolkit designed for students in 5th and 6th grade of the elementary school. It offers a fun, hands-on approach to STEM education, where students learn by doing.

All in one box!

The S1 Programming Set comes with everything you need to get started, including:

  • A programmable microcontroller called ARD:icon
  • Various sensors and actuators
  • Easy-to-use Polytech ARD:icon software
  • Teaching materials and activities

Learning by creating!

The S1 Programming Set uses a “learn by creating” approach. Students will participate in engaging activities that teach them the fundamentals of programming and electronics. They will even build their own simple circuits!

No experience required!

Even students with no prior knowledge of programming or electronics can get started with the S1 set. The included activities and materials will guide them step-by-step.

Perfect for aspiring programmers!

The S1 Programming Set is a great way for students to develop their programming skills using Arduino and C/C++.

SMART:Blox S1 Programming Set for Primary Education S.T.E.M. is the basic set that offers students learning by doing activities, with each activity fully designed and applied across all STEM disciplines, giving students the opportunity to engage in hands-on and experiential learning, increasing their skills in designing and developing computer programs.

The system includes the programmable microcontroller ARD:icon, accompanied by a series of peripheral devices, sensors and actuators, Polytech’s ARD:icon development and programming software with the necessary teaching and supporting educational material, ideal for elementary school students.

Its design makes the system ideal for training in programming and controlling devices through the board language, as well as introducing programming in Arduino and C/C++ languages. It allows students with no experience, background in electronic circuits and computer knowledge to learn programming by creating basic control circuits, implementing exciting technical activities.

The SMART:Blox S1 Programming Set comes with a set of placement guides of compatible bricks (Lego type) and a base for placing/building the activities. These plastic parts (Lego type) are durable and suitable for use by children. It is selected as a suitable educational material in primary STEM-Robotics education in Primary School (grades 5-6) by the Hellenic Ministry of Education.

  • ARD:icon Microcontroller
  • Base for bricks (Lego type)
  • Cases for compatible bricks (Lego type) for placing circuits
  • Analog sound sensor (Microphone)
  • Angle/rotation sensor
  • Pressure switch
  • Touch switch
  • Infrared receiver
  • Infrared transmitter
  • Active buzzer
  • Magnetic switch
  • PIR motion sensor
  • Humidity temperature sensor
  • LDR light sensor
  • HALL magnetic field sensor
  • LEDs of various colors (Red, Green, Yellow, Blue)
  • Step motor with propeller
  • Servo motor
  • Laser unit
  • RJ11 Extension Unit
  • RJ11 cables to 3-pin interface B, 6-pin, 30 cm
  • USB cable
  • ARD:icon© software

Features of the ARD:icon Microcontroller

  • 4 Analog I/O Ports RJ11
  • 5 Digital I/O Ports RJ11
  • 1 Joystick Port/RJ11
  • 1 Serial COM Port
  • 1 SPI Serial Communication Port/RJ11
  • 1 I2C Communication Port for interfacing with other ADR:icon/RJ11
  • Connection to tablet or computer

Programming capabilities with block-based commands

  • Mathematical operations
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Functions
  • Variables and constants
  • Loops
  • Delays
  • Real-time functions
  • Loop programming
  • Robotic motion programming

1. The ARD:icon Microcontroller

ARD:icon is a microcontroller based on the open architecture of the ARDUINO controller family, specially designed by Polytech for simple “plug and play” use by students.

It uses open source guides and a simple but powerful and flexible programming environment in order to make programming accessible to the general (student) audience.

The microcontroller device is integrated in a durable plastic box. It features markings on its surface so that students can identify each input, output, communication, power and other necessary connection port. It has operation light indicators for various states (Download, Run, Compile).

In conjunction with the ARD:icon software application, students focus on control system design and programming, operation logic, using the application’s icon environment (Icon based GUI), specially designed and implemented by Polytech for teaching purposes.

It comes with Polytech’s ARD:icon programming environment. It can also be programmed with various programming environments for ARDUINO (also known as IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), available through ARD:icon.

The ARD:icon Microcontroller Technical characteristics

  • CPU: ATmega328P-PU
  • Flash memory: 32 KB
  • SRAM: 2KB
  • Storage capacity EEPROM: 1KB
  • Clock frequency: 16 MHZ
  • Restart option
  • Ability to connect via USB, to a device with Android or Windows OS

Power Supply

When connected to a tablet or computer via a USB port, no external power is needed. No batteries are required to operate the set.

2. SMART:Blox

The set is equipped with a set of accessory passive devices (sensors and interfaces) and is an ideal introduction to computer science and computational/algorithmic thinking.

The sensors and the micro-devices are connected to ARD:icon via RJ11 cables (6-wire array) thus avoiding micro-wiring circuits, pins, connection errors, short circuits, loss of teaching time/time for circuit assembly and disassembly and teaching time is devoted to the planning of each circuit and the main theme of the activity. Each set has 8 RJ 11 cables 30 cm long.

5th Grade

  1. Programming Digital Output/Digital write
  2. Programming Dual Digital Output/Digital write
  3. Triple Digital Output Programming/Digital write
  4. Quadruple Digital Output. Programming/Digital write
  5. Analog output Programming/Analog write
  6. “serial print” and “digital read” condition
  7. Temperature Measurement/The “serial print” and analog read condition
  8. Humidity measurement condition “serial print” and analog read
  9. Sound Volume Measurement/The “serial print” and analog read condition
  10. Light Intensity Measurement/The “serial print” and analog read condition
  11. Rotation Angle Measurement/The “serial print” and analog read condition
  12. Single digital input/Single digital output – “digital write”, “serial print” and “digital “read” conditions
  13. Flashing light/The “delay” condition
  14. Rhythmic Sound/The “delay” condition
  15. Fluctuating Analog output Programming/Analog write
  16. Fluctuating Lighting/The “delay” condition
  17. Light waves/The “delay” condition
  18. Triple Digital Output Programming
  19. Fluctuating Analog Output and Fixed Digital Output Programming
  20. Advertising sign
  21. Single digital input/Single digital output / The if and then conditions
  22. Single analog input/Single digital output, if and then conditions
  23. Single Digital Input/Single Digital Output – Magnetic Field Detector Programming
  24. Single analog input/Single analog output / Automatic Projector Programming
  25. Single analog input/Single analog output Dimmer Switch Programming
  26. Smart Home Doorbell Programming – The “else” condition
  27. Entry Sound Control
  28. Rhythmic Sound/The “delay” condition
  29. Refrigerator temperature control
  30. Smart Home Alarm Programming I

6th Grade

  1. Goniometer 1.A
  2. Decibel meter
  3. Pedestrian traffic light
  4. Smart Home Alarm Programming II
  5. Automatic City Lights
  6. Magnetic Entry Card
  7. Store entrance
  8. Advertising Sign 2
  9. The “if – then – else” condition:
    1. Pressure switch
    2. Sound sensor
    3. Touch Switch
    4. Temperature sensor
    5. Humidity Sensor
    6. Motion sensor
    7. Magnetic Field Sensor
    8. Magnetic Switch
  10. The “if – then” condition:
    1. Light Sensor
    2. IR sensor
    3. Angle sensor
  11. Decimal Constant Number, constant g: Gravitational Acceleration
  12. Decimal Fixed Number, constant π
  13. Rotation sensor/Potentiometer
  14. Temperature Humidity Sensor
  15. Addition of 2 variable terms
  16. Subtraction of 2 constant integer terms and 1 variable term
  17. Multiplication of 2 variable terms
  18. Division of 1 decimal and 1 variable term
  19. Fraction programming
  20. Programming a square number (α2) – Area of a square (constant integer term)
  21. Programming Area of square of Variable term
  22. Calculating the Perimeter of a Rectangular Rectangle
  23. Calculation of Fixed/Variable Height Square Area
  24. Calculation of the Area of a Parallelogram/Triangle of Fixed/Variable Height


ARD:icon, developed by Polytech, is a small computer designed to facilitate education in computer science and computational thinking. It is especially suitable for beginners, offering a robust introduction through a variety of sensors, interfaces, and a dedicated programming environment.

ARD:icon serves as an excellent tool for introducing students to programming and robotics. Its intuitive graphical interface, multilingual support, and comprehensive simulation capabilities make it a powerful educational platform.

Educational Capabilities

The set offers a comprehensive educational solution for learning basic and advanced principles of programming and robotics. The ARD:icon software includes:

  • Educational applications
  • Tutorials
  • Videos
  • Educational content

With this set, students can develop skills in programming and robotics while exploring the use of various sensors and actuators, contributing to their knowledge in STEM fields.

Key Features and Components

  1. Rich Sensor and Interface Set
    • Equipped with multiple sensors.
    • Interfaces for various devices, including motors and LEDs.
  2. Programming Environments
    • Comes with Polytech’s proprietary ARD:icon programming environment.
    • Compatible with multiple Arduino IDEs, allowing flexibility in programming choices.
  3. Tile Language Programming
    • Utilizes a graphical tile language to make programming intuitive and engaging.
    • Ideal for beginners, resembling a game-like experience.
    • Supports multiple languages including English, Greek, French, and Russian.
  4. Code Generation
    • Converts graphical programming into Arduino (C++) and C code.
    • Displays the generated code in pop-up windows for educational purposes.
  5. Open Source Libraries
    • Incorporates open source libraries.
    • Provides an accessible and powerful programming environment.
  6. Driver Libraries
    • Rich set of drivers for sensors and interface devices.
    • Each library is integrated into the ARD:icon application, corresponding to a specific icon.
  7. Simulation Capabilities
    • Includes a simulator to test and visualize code execution.
    • Displays all simulated devices to help students debug and refine their designs before physical implementation.

Specialized Features for Robotic Arm Programming

  • 3D Space Programming
    • Allows programming of robotic arm movements in a 3D space.
  • Monitoring and Visualization
    • Monitors arm movement in the X-Y-Z plane with 3D graphics.
    • Continuous tracking of the movement of the four arm motors.


  • Engaging Learning Environment
    • The tile language and game-like interface make learning to code fun and accessible.
  • Comprehensive Teaching Solution
    • ARD:icon offers a complete package with educational content, software, and hardware integration.
  • Multilingual Support
    • Provides software and content in multiple languages to cater to a diverse student population.
  • Practical Learning
    • Students can simulate and visualize their projects, gaining hands-on experience in debugging and functional testing.

The ARD:icon© Software

The ARD:icon© software that accompanies every POLYTECH STEM set is a visual programming editor by Polytech that uses drag-and-drop blocks a powerful teaching and programming tool for:

  • the strengthening of computational and algorithmic thinking
  • developing skills for computer programming, robotics, automation and familiarity with programming code
  • the design of basic technical and scientific applications, mathematical calculations and other technological solutions with a view to the whole range of STEM applications

In addition, it offers a modern method for teaching these fundamental concepts to students through a variety of activities, exercises and group assignments based on STEM methodology.

ARD:icon© software offers an educational platform with teaching applications, aids, videos and content that make up an integrated solution. The software environment and the entire content is offered in English, Greek or Russian language. ARD:icon, using a block language environment with built-in real programming commands, offers a unique programming platform that automatically generates and exports the code defined by the student in Arduino language (the controller’s natural language based on C++) and simultaneously in C language in a split window.

The main teaching subsystems offered are:

  • ARD:icon© SB – Circuit programming and simulation software using the equipment and hardware offered per set.
  • ΑRD:icon© EB – An eBook format application which incorporates the curriculum and enables students through the software instructions (C.A.I.) to perform activities on their own outside of the teaching period (Self paced training) but also within the teaching period under the supervision of the teacher.
  • ARD:icon© CS – A subsystem of the platform based on Polytech software, Academus CRS – class interaction and management system – for interactive teaching activities with tools to assist the teacher in the presentation of lessons.

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