In the first week, children made designs on 3d modeling software (Tinkercad). 20% of children had not used a computer before. Then, they printed their design with 3D printers. They had so much fun and discovered different concepts. Their favorite moments were creating parts by themselves. As a team, we were sure that the 3D printers were the most interesting thing for them in the classroom.
Yet, when we asked them if there was anything else they were curious about, one child asked how we projected the picture on the computer to the wall. Other children started to listen and came to look closer at the projector. They started making figures in the light with their hands.
When we asked questions to them, they sometimes answered from a completely different point of view. Adults usually immediately react that their answer is wrong. However, we need to understand why they give this kind of answers and support their imagination. In Elon Musk Programming with Arduino Workshop, we experienced an incident very similar to this.
Sensors were one of the tools they would learn about. For the comprehension of this concept, we showed some fun videos. One video was about automatic doors. We asked how the door worked. The children’s answers made us smile. One of them said there was a camera above the door and a security officer was watching from the screen. When a customer approached, this officer would open the door pushing a button.
Then, we started to play our games about sensors. There are different types of sensors such as distance, temperature, sound, gas, and light. We role played to comprehend sensors better. One child role played as a sensor. Others gave him/her an algorithm to follow when he/she senses something according to the role. For example, one of the students was the sound sensor and the algorithm was when she heard two claps she should jump.
They also roleplayed as a distance sensor which is the same as the one over the automatic door. After this, we talked about the sensor above the automatic door. This time, they explained the whole system very well. The following weeks, students used distance sensors with Arduino and mBot robotics kits.
Teachers need basic knowledge about new technologies and trends, so they can figure out how they can use them in their classroom. Teachers attended our training about digital transformation, design thinking, entrepreneurship, storytelling, and informal education. They mentioned that they enjoyed the technology workshop session the most.
The teachers also mentioned their desire to develop themselves in different technologies. They had different ideas about how to use technology in their classrooms.
At the Good Examples in Education Conference, we met one of the teachers from our training. She mentioned that after our training, she started to learn programming with Arduino to teach in her classroom after the training. This example shows the importance of teacher trainings .