If your kids’ school doesn’t have a technology workshop, then MakerMobile will bring the workshop to you!
Simon Lyons and Farrell Segall helped create MakerMobile, a Vancouver, BC-based mobile maker workshop founded by four teachers. They transformed an old truck into a fully kitted out tech teaching space, with screens, an ethernet network, and a mobile Internet connection. Now, they travel around the city offering technology classes to children (and the young at heart).
Lyons, who taught science and mathematics for years in schools, enjoys being able to focus on building electronics projects with kids. MakerMobile introduces them to the rapidly evolving ‘maker’ culture, that marries technology with DIY and encourages participants to explore and create their own designs. It marries technology and crafts together, with projects involving everything from fabrics to code.
Segall worries that we are failing to teach the next generation of people the necessary technology skills, and hopes that projects like MakerMobile will help to spread technology skills to kids, and get them started on the scientific path.
“One of the things that we tend to clamp down on is the cost of teaching other people,” he says. “We should never see that as a cost. We should see it as an investment.”
MakerMobile teaches both adults and kids the basics of electronics, programming, and physical computing. It’s a hacker space and mobile classroom where children can solder their own circuits and wire up Raspberry Pi computers for what Lyons calls “physical computing”: the manipulation of physical objects through software.
What can that lead to? How about programmable LED lights in your clothes, or on a wristband? Or a piano made of bananas that play computerised notes when you touch them?
MakerMobile offers packages for birthday parties, and longer packages for groups of kids that want a deeper dive into multiple projects. It also sells kits for some of the electronics projects that Lyons and his colleagues teach, via its Etsy store.