We were invited to run a few MAKERPARTY workshops at Mashup 2016 with Codeclub, FabLab and OMG tech and other tech upstarts in Welly last week. Add 350 students from Wellington Schools and that’s a party we had to attend!
So last week we set off, a band of happy travelers, weighed down with 4 crates of craft stuff and backpacks full of iPads and Sphero’s. I’m so lucky I have met such good eggs here in Dunedin, willing to drop everything and go eat dumplings and rock a gig in Wellington for the craic!
Josh Nicholson (our Sphero expert) Alex Gregory, Mika Smith and Lewis van den Burg Shaw all journeyed forth from the deep south bringing our very Dunedin based sensibilities to the North Island. We always try to bring fun to tech, to embed learning in activities which access a diverse array of strengths and creativity.
Having people willing to help and make things happen is amazing, having a talented crew is even better.
As with all good adventures, nothing went to plan, TePapa managed to flood itself the night before our gig, some fantastic logistics and organising from Michael from Codeclub and the museum saw us trek across town to an alternative venue at Piptea Marae.
We set up and got to work. Each team had less than an hour to design, build and test a way of getting an egg across the finish line with the Sphero.
Despite Ann breaking the first egg of the day the kids fared much better with only a few Humpty Dumpty tragedies during the day. The magic of this task was the wide array of solutions devised to transport the precious cargoes, and the absolute joy of just making for the sake of it. This is a structured activity where first place is not the goal, to build and refine is the key, adaptation is its own reward.
We enjoyed watching the diverse groups come up with sticky, innovative solutions for their egg carriage, and as Occam’s Razor decrees, often the simplest ideas were first across the line. As we were on a very tight schedule the time for refinement and testing was cut, and as the day wore on we had to turn more and more disappointed kids away, our final session say our number ballon from 25 to 42 and we still had to turn more away.
We loved that everyone screamed with joy when winners crossed the line, it wasn’t important that they won, but that somebody figured it out, and the task could be done, and given half a chance I’m sure a refined session with improved designs would have seen even greater results. We have Lewis to thank for sticking on Chariots of Fire for each race, which really added to the absolute hilarity of the venture.
Huge thanks to Codeclub for having us along and putting up with our bad dancing, loud screaming and faint aroma of egg yoke for the day. Well done to our mega amazing volunteers who made this possible, you are golden.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for our next adventure!