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Inspiring belief in a better tomorrow. Equipping kids with the tools to build it.

Hackidemia workshop @ TEDxEroilor, Cluj, Romania

Who said science was not fun?
Hackidemia once again delighted the adults and the kids from a TEDx event! This time happened in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at TEDxEroilor, on the 9th of May.

The event gathered more than 800 spectators that also wanted to meet us. We had a stand where we presented some of our activities with the Maker Box, robots and type writer along with our local partners from Cluj Makers and Simplon.

The team organized a bunch of activities for everyone interested, especially for the kids. We had a Lego Mindstorm robot, a tweet writer, a makey makey for music hacks with fruits and clay. We also had a pair of VR glasses so we landed on the moon and stared at the planets.

The tweet writer was the attraction, as it typed tweets about the event in real time, while the public was posting them on Twitter. At the end we had like 7 pages of printed tweets.

Kids were fascinated by the Lego Mindstorm robot and wouldn't want to leave so they can still play with it. Here's what Bogdan, one of our trainers, was thinking about the experience: ''It was my second experience with Hackidemia and it was unexpected as I was very surprised that people are so interested in technology. In a world in which everyone of us wears in their pocket a more advanced technology that was used to land on the moon, just a few are still asking how is this working, or how was built? At TEDx I had the pleasure to meet such people.''

Hacking our way into Singapore's Heart-lands!

HacKIDemia, along with a few other organizations, was invited by the Singapore Science Center, to support a Maker Faire booth at the EduSave merit bursary award function for the Tampines Community Center on Jan 17, 18 and 24. The awards are given to Singaporean students from relatively lower income households who have excelled in academic and co-curricular activities. The objective of the Maker Faire booths was to inspire students and parents to create, tinker and unleash the inner maker in them.

A few of the HacKIDemia mentors Luther, Fazli, Balaji, Sabri, Syahmi, teamed up with Science Center mentors Lin and Jordan to facilitate the HacKIDemia tables. We chose simple but free-flowing making activities with pipe-cleaners, paper, tape, LED lights, flat circuit tapes, and vibrating motors.

Since this was the first time our team was organising such activities in the heartlands of Singapore, we were unsure about the amount of interest and excitement we would be able to generate. We are highly energised and humbled by the enthusiastic response we got. Students , parents and even grand-parents spent significant time making, learning and bonding as a family.  We had participants come back again for a second day just to spend time making at our booth because they enjoyed it so much.

Have a look at some of the fun stuff our participants and mentors made. 

The chief guest of the bursary awards, Mr. Heng Swee Keat, the Hon. Minister of Education for Singapore, dropped in a few times to the Maker Faire booth. He appreciated the positive feedback he got from the community members on the fun they were having making things and commented on the 'Hands-on Learning' approach he got to observe. He also invested time to sit and make an LED-powered flower for his wife!

In total, we estimate that we reached around 200 participants across 3 days and many of them have asked to be kept informed of future opportunities to make. The event was an additional proof point of the latent need for HacKIDemia's philosophy of learning through making.

For the mentors, it was fun to get to work with a broader community of makers like Playeum, Just Love Crafts (who had an awesome quilling workshop) and learn new things from them. Thanks to all the mentors at the Maker Faire booths and to the Science Center for providing us an opportunity to contribute to the community.

HacKIDemia Holiday Singapore 2014

HacKIDemia was back again in Singapore for the holiday season and we ran four sessions of it - on 13th, 14th and 20th December led by Fazli Mansor, Luther Goh and Balaji Ramanujam. The sessions attracted over 160 registered children and students together with their parents at 3 especially befitting locations, namely the IDA Labs at the National Design Centre, the ArtScience Museum and also the Little Arts Academy.

The mentors were gathered a couple of days before the event for briefing at Hackerspace.SG, getting to know each other and also to explore ways to engage and interact with the participants. We were lucky to have had Stefania herself guiding us through the mentor session to ensure everyone would have fun and geared up to have a lively learning and creative experience.

 

The first session on 13th Dec 2014 was held at the National Design Centre for 8 to 16 year olds in the morning.

The children learned how to have fun combining paper crafts full of colour and shapes together with basic circuitry through sticky copper tape, batteries and LEDs with our Christmas themed templates - Reindeers with LED noses, Snowflakes lighted up by a LED and Christmas tree with a LED on top.

They also experienced making music with the MakeyMakey and fruits, how to make an automated waving hand with the LittleBits kits, programming the Arduino to make running lights and also some basic Raspberry Pi programming with Scratch. 

 

On the afternoon of 13th Dec, the mentor team shifted all the equipment and tools to setup at the ArtScience Museum. It was also happening at the same time as the Leonardo Da Vinci showcase there.

So for two afternoons over that weekend, children of all ages some pre-registered - some walk-in joined the fun to learn about making more paper circuitry and the different platforms they could create with together with their enthusiastic parents.  

The week after on the 20th Dec 2014, the learning adventure continued at the Little Arts Academy specially for children below 8 years of age. 

The sessions ended with raving reviews from the parents and children whom are looking forward to the next HacKIDemia and especially those who have already volunteered as mentors in some of the sessions. The mentors certainly enjoyed the sharing sessions and fostered new enthusiasm to continue building the community.

Special thanks to all who have supported especially our venue sponsors, ArtScience Museum and IDA Labs @ NDC, all mentors, parents who willingly spent their weekend to be together with their children and supporting the HacKIDemia sessions.

Do join the group https://www.facebook.com/groups/sghackidemia to follow the updates in Singapore. See you in the upcoming HacKIDemia!

Fazli Mansor

Ending off with a Mentor's lunch to celebrate the successful event!