Illinois ECE Sending Lab Kits Worldwide to Support Remote Learning


Ryann Monahan, Illinois ECE

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (Illinois ECE)has sent more than 3,800 electrical and computer engineering lab kits around the world. The kits are aimed at helping all Illinois ECE students receive the tools they need to thrive in a remote learning environment.

The kits are typically checked out and/or shared by students during in-person lab courses. However, COVID-19 changed the parameters for learning for the 2020-2021 school year. The changes meant most students learning remotely and Illinois ECE making changes that would stretch around the world.

“We really feel for the challenges students are facing at this time. When it comes to students attending in-person or remotely, we want to make sure the experience is as good as possible,” Illinois ECE Assistant Director of Instructional Support Casey J Smith said.

Illinois ECE typically produces approximately 400 kits for ECE 110 (Introduction to Electronics) and enough kits for students to work in pairs in other labs.  Now, Illinois ECE staff are voluntarily coming into Illinois ECE building to produce kits for six lab courses- totaling 3,800 kits.

“We are shipping internationally so students all around the world will be able to receive these kits,” Smith said.

Casey J Smith
Casey J Smith

The kits will replace the instrumentation and materials that the students would have received for in-person labs. They include everything from wires, breadboards, and circuit components to a USB-powered test and measurement instrument that brings typical lab equipment such as oscilloscopes, waveform generators, and power supplies to the students’ laptop.

Illinois ECE is comprised of more than 2,000 undergraduate students making it the largest undergraduate unit on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

More information on changes Illinois ECE making to the building for in-person classes can be found here.