October 10, 2012, by Stefania Druga and Bobi Rakova
How do you fire up kids about science and technology when the world is full of distractions? When everything is fighting for their attention, how can we make sure that we can give our kids the best starting point and inspire them to explore and and go beyond what we think is possible? We started HacKIDemia because we believe that we can answer these questions.
HacKIDemia brings Hacking, Kids and Academia into a global community empowering the Research & Development future generation. It is a mobile invention lab that includes:
- Hand-on workshops in STEM education with the focus on exploring how creativity and play can solve problems in a fun and interactive wiki of making.
- Providing access to STEM education for girls, minorities and kids with disabilities.
- Introducing new technologies and getting kids to use them right away.
City by city, HacKIDemia wishes to revive the making spirit and create local innovation spaces for people of all ages while inspiring children, students and parents and provide them access to new technologies and science.
HacKIDemia is full of wizards and magicians! Stefania Druga is the inventions wizard. She started the project after leaving Google to spend four months with kids in Cambodia. In July this year she created the first one day HacKIDemia event in Paris. The team grew exponentially with both future ideas and excitement this Summer during the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program backed by NASA and Google. Libby Flack is the best storytelling wizard ever. She is an interactive media design expert based in San Francisco. Brent Dixon is a designer, educator, and musician engaged in international youth activism projects. The tools wizard is Bogdana Rakova who is part of the Open Hardware community and has much experience with electronics and computer science. This is only the core team and Hackidemia wouldn’t be possible without the help of the wonderful international HacKIDemia volunteers that are trained to mentor workshops, help in the organization and come and play and learn with the kids and their parents.
We are very happy for the support from Dan Barry (a NASA Astronaut), Julian Gorodsky (Founder D-school), Karl R. C. Wendt (Khan Academy) and so many other amazing people!
Just last weekend we did a great Hackidemia event in the CROS Learning House in Bucharest. More than 30 kids joined the event and participated in 8 different workshops: space exploration with smartphones, robotics, microelectronics, stop-motion animation, interactive book making, Recycling and art and many more.
Learn more about the activities and the experience in out wiki of making: www.hackidemia.com/wiki
Here is the video from the Microelectronics workshop in Bucharest:
This month HacKIDemia will go to the Open World Forum in Paris (13 October) and in Berlin on the 20th of October. We will also install a permanent lab in Sao Paolo (26th October-30 November) and in Lagos, Nigeria (1-7 of November) where we will attend also the Maker Fair.
Stefania Druga is currently doing a PhD in the Interdisciplinary Research Center, Paris Descartes. She was also the Education Teaching fellow at Singularity University 2012 where she advised and coached 80 students from 36 countries. She is also a former Googler and has a lot experience in web search infrastructure and international open education programs. She already created a Fablab in Paris: http://hackidemia.tumblr.com/ and one in Cambodia: teachingcambodia.blogspot.com and she cannot stop building and inventing things!
Bobi Rakova is passionate about technology and innovation and has a big crush on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She has a background in Computer Science and is an article contributor to the DIY community. She is currently working on a prototyping platform called Agilart that allows people with no technical background to program microcontrollers. Bobi believes that anything is possible and there are no limits to the immense possibilities of the today’s technologies.