JCI Transformers

Member

Tom Devolder


Duration

From September 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

Target

Young childeren/scholars who are on the verge of choosing schooling (and thus job) options


Target population

1000


Target avg age

12


People impacted

20


Sustainable Development Goal

Quality Education


Development stage

Education and Economic Empowerment


Purpose

We want to show children how interesting technology, robotics, engineering, technical skills, etc. can be. We want to spark the curiosity and get young people having to choose schooling options at 12-13 years, to get acquainted to mechanics, electronics and programming. In the long run we want to stimulate the engineering market and aid in fulfilling jobs that require a technical background.


Overview

Our region is suffering a lack of professionally educated technical profiles. This is amongst others due to an superior status assigned to schooling options with a focus on ‘white collar’ knowledge and skills, and an inferior status assigned to schooling options focused on ‘blue collar’ knowledge and skills. We want to put things in perspective, and to show children how interesting technology, robotics, engineering, technical skills, etc. can be. We want to spark the curiosity and get young people having to choose schooling options at 12-13 years, to get acquainted to mechanics, electronics and programming. These young people can specifically be found in fifth and sixth grade of Belgian primary school (11 – 12 years). This is in accordance to the reformation of the Belgian education and schooling options.

By tackling this at the time where a choice has to be made to continue a certain study direction, the flow into STEM courses can be increased. And doing so, more technically schooled profiles will enter the professional market on a mid-long term.


Results

Students from across schools got together to work on these projects. The children were running school in different schools. Every school director and the teachers we approached were enthusiastic for this project. The parents asked about the robots, how their children were doing and were satisfied with the result their kid produced. It helped broaden the parents mindset and look beyond the traditional degree and elitist status that were given to some courses in high school.
We do believe we made a positive impact by getting these kids acquainted with technology in a complete robotics project. The kids would talk amongst themselves and choose the courses they are interested in. We gave them the first-hand experience that got them to create the robot. We didn’t focus on mathematics, physics or any of these applied sciences. We focused on the experience, on their involvement and their interest in the project.


Recommendations

To be evaluated at the end of the project.

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