Yapan Çocuk Manifesto

Every child is born perfect.

With unboundless curiosity and

an infinite potential to ask questions.

Years replace the curiosity and questions

with more information and answers.

 

Our goal is not to teach the children,

but to be a part of their discoveries,

to make their learning adventures more fun,

to ask the right questions when they’re stuck,

and to open them new doors when they’re bored.

 

We dream of children who

never give up on wondering

and asking why,

who keep dreaming

and go on to to make

what they dream.

Every child starts its journey with infinite curiosity and vast powers of observation. It has an incredible potential. Then the world starts to put limits on this potential.

We are dreaming of a new education system which helps the child blossom rather than make it unhappy through imaginary boundaries it sets. A system where the child is not loaded with information with an expiration date, but which helps it acquire the skills to navigate successfully an ever changing world.

Technology Is Only a Tool

Every child has a different relationship to technology. Not everyone is born to become a software programmer, an engineer, or an artificial intelligence expert for instance. However, it is certain everyone will use technology more extensively in their daily lives and work in the future. Everyone, including the artists, dancers, designers, and programmers of the future. What is important is to understand technology, to create it when needed and to be able to use it for what we want to do rather than just become a consumer.

That is why we see technology as a tool. New technologies such as plastic 3D printing, communication tools for the Internet of Things (IoT), and current programming languages will certainly be replaced by others in the future. What will be relevant is not the specific technologies, but to understand the logic and the potential of these technologies. For example, how additive manufacturing works in the case of 3D printing, the algorithms behind programming languages, or how IoT can transform the world.

Our goal is to help your children acquire the skills of the future by training them in the technologies of the future. With our original content and examples from daily life, we help children acquire 21st century skills while they get trained in how to design, build what they design using different technologies, and add behaviors to their designs using programming. It is also important for us that they develop an awareness about the environment and its sustainability in our workshops.  

What We Do (in a few words)

In recent years, the STEAM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) model in education has promoted multi-disciplinary learning and collaboration and put the focus more on the student rather than the teacher. STEAM has also been synonymous with 21st century skills.

At Yapan Çocuk, with our STEAM workshops we compliment the education in schools and develop lifelong learning skills at an early age. Entrepreneurship has always been very important for us (see InnoCampus). That is why we put an additional E in front of STEAM. ESTEAM summarizes well all the technology, creativity, design, 21st century skills, and entrepreneurship workshops we develop and organize at Yapan Çocuk.

We also believe in the maker movement. That is whey when use the word ‘make’, it signifies much more than just the dictionary definition. It means to build, create something new, and to hack everyday objects to come up with different uses.

Our Journey

In our past life, we organized many startup accelerator programs, technology workshops, makeathons and hackathons in different cities. We worked closely with startup teams and helped hundreds of young people learn different technologies. We organized entrepreneurship and creativity camps for high school students. We also carried out many technology workshops with children. We presented our work internationally in different platforms including MIT University Media Lab in Boston, Fab11 conference in Barcelona, PanAsia Innovation Conference  in Seoul,  Puijang Innovation Forum in Shangai, Fab14 conference in Toulouse, and Fablab conference in Belgrade. And now, we are opening a new and inspirational center in Istanbul with Yapan Çocuk.

We have always been engaged in new technologies. Our founder has left a corporate career where he was a program manager responsible for new product development and installing new technology production lines in 2014 and returned to Turkey. With 5 friends, he started the InnoCampus project. 70 startup teams graduated from our InnoCampus Startup Accelerator programs we organized in 7 different locations (Adana, İzmir, Çanakkale, İstanbul, Gaziantep, Urla ve Şanlıurfa) in 3 years. During this time, we stayed 3 months in each city and worked with local startups. As we worked with young entrepreneurs, we believe we also learned a lot about what to do to support the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in Turkey.

We worked extensively with high school students aged 14 to 18. We organized high school entrepreneurship and creativity camps for students from around Turkey. We saw that high school students in general has a much more open and curious mindset compared to older entrepreneurs which made us realize that the university education system and entrance exam preparation have a drastic impact on the curiosity, self-confidence, and overall energy levels of students.

When we started working with children, we were amazed by their potential and capacity to learn anything fast. After organizing children workshops in Çanakkale, İstanbul ve Gaziantep, we realized we had an opportunity create a bigger impact when we worked with children.

If children in Turkey acquire 21st century skills, find out about new technologies and coding early on, if they keep on staying curious, develop themselves in  their areas of interest and go on to work on their startup ideas in high school, it is inevitable that they eventually start global businesses and come up with world changing products. We founded Yapan Çocuk for this reason and to support a brand new generation which makes rather than consumes. We constantly remind ourselves that

Yapan Çocuk is

where children blossom,

where they keep dreaming and

go on to make

what they dream.