By Sophia Makori
iHub Kids Hacker Camp (KHC) offers kids an opportunity to learn the STEAM skills needed to become techies and leaders; who can identify problems in their community and challenge themselves to solve it. During the week of 12th -16th November 2018, iHub ran the camp at Kiota primary school. The team loved the kids’ enthusiasm, creativity and resourcefulness.
A project-based learning approach was used to teach the kids electronics concepts. It challenges the kids to think about how electronics operate and to build problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The projects are composed of three parts: electronic assembly, artwork and testing of the prototype.
Day 1- The kids got to learn the concept of motors and remote control by creating the RC 3- wheeler using littlebits. Littlebits are electronic color-coded building blocks that snap together so the concept was easily grasped by the kids. The race was fun, with some trying to cheat their way to the finish line.
Day 2- The smart security system, built with littlebits, taught the kids the concept of sensors and securing entry points of a building. I think some of them had more fun creating masks and playing catch the thief at the end of class.
Day 3- Using advanced littlebits, the AND gate, we introduced the concept of logic gates by making a candy vending machine. The on-boarding of the electronics onto the vending machine was a little bit challenging for them because we used a lot of wires/connectors but in the end most of them were pleading to carry their models home.
Click here to view a video of the candy machine
Day 4- We assembled a power generation station that was used to power their smart city. This introduced them to electric power, sources and distribution. This was voted the most favorite project the kids during the week.
Day 5- The robotic arm was a bit complex for them to understand since we used Arduino, and introduced a couple of new modules as well; potentiometers, capacitors. But they were got more engaged in the electronic assembly and testing of the prototype.
All in all, this was a fun-filled learning experience, for both the kids and trainers.
*STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths