Earlier this year our friends at Tinkertanker contacted us with a sort of unsolicited welcome to the Tech Education marketplace. We really appreciated that professional courtesy. And we’ve been collaborating with them on several projects ever since, teaching Secondary level courses like Arduino and Python/Processing.
They also referred us to Camp Asia – a leading holiday camp and extracurricular activity provider run by Cognita, the owner of both Australian and Stamford American International Schools. We built up our relationship with Camp Asia, and now we will be participating more closely with them on their Tech Savvy offerings as their so-called Head Coaches for Creative Coding and Electronic MakerSpace – original curricula curated especially for this collaboration.
Throughout July and August we delivered our biggest educational program yet – a cohort of ~315 students for 10.5 hours of micro:bit-based, physical computing and making module following a sustainability and innovation contextual arc.
The kids got to explore all sorts of external electronic components, from simple LEDs to water pumps and servos, hygrometers and IR proximity sensors. It was a breadth-first bonanza, but the class sizes (1:40 ratio) and short session durations (1.5 hr) prevented us from really digging down, although at the end the kids were testing their own limits, which was great to see.
I think we could concentrate on something less open-ended and get better student participation rates, sacrificing our own interest and the rare oddballs who are best-suited for a more creative approach.
Kids’ final projects ranged from Bluetooth-powered messaging between multiple micro:bits, proximity-triggered security systems with buzzers and LEDs, and self-watering plants. The sustainability gambit colored all of the work and learning.
It was a labor of love, but boy was it labor. We sourced electrical components, packaged hundreds of kits, created a custom-tailored curriculum, and printed hundreds of personal worksheets & guides. This is about the largest I’d want to get for a while. Any bigger and I think we’d lose a sense of what we’re actually doing.