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

Why should a computer science student be a mentor in Hackidemia?

Author: Tony Iordanova

What is Computer Science if not playing and hacking all the time! Playing with numbers, equations, programming, data, etc. This is what keeps me awake in the morning - you never stop learning new things! This is why I became part of HacKIDemia Sofia last weekend!

I’m Tony and I study Computer Science in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. I have always been interested in technology and in how we can use it to solve real world problems. I am part of the Robotics Club at the University. I heard about HacKIDemia for the first time few months ago and recently I've been hearing and reading even more about it. Then one day I got the offer “Do you want to participate in the next event?” I never thought that I could be part of HacKIDemia before and now this idea of being a mentor and working with kids made me so excited. So far I have always been taking different classes at the University and now for the first time I was going to be the mentor. It was a great challenge for me and I wanted to be prepared. Being able to explain a 5 years old child what a robot is and how you can program it to walk in a straight line is a very difficult skill. There are many people that are great in what they do but the biggest challenge is to share your knowledge with other people. How do you get children excited and inspire them to go into Science? This was the challenge for me and I was absolutely amazed by the creativity and enthusiasm of the youngest kids!

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Me and few colleagues from the University wanted to design the best workshop where the participants could both learn new things and play together. We decided to use LEGO robots. We had some ready and functioning robots, we took them apart together with the kids. Then they built their own ones and then together we designed a game involving all the robots. Each group of kids designed their own game involving different elements and different robots. Like the one following a line or more complicated one using an Arduino controller.

The other workshops that happened were also very engaging. We had Electronics - creating an electronic tool for painting, Lemon Powered Lights, 3D Printing, more LEGO robots, Crafts - making figures out of wood, Origami Structures, Making toys with KidsLab, the Chinese game Go and others.The biggest takeaway for me was the chance to work with kids and explain very complicated concepts in simple words. It was great and my colleagues and I are looking forward to the next HacKIDemia event!