Posted: 08/07/19

Piece by Joris Vreeke of ADAPT's Design and Innovation Lab:

"You know that time when you were in elementary school and a stranger comes in? And they talk about what they do for a living or let you do something completely different than what you'd do on a normal school day? When you deliver the Ozobot robot workshops you can be that person. You get to pull 11-year-olds out of their daily routine and hopefully leave them with a fun memory that stays with them for the rest of their lives.

As soon as you step into the Ozobot programme, you get the Education and Public Engagement team royalty treatment. First you attend a two-hour instruction session with experienced trainers. All you need to do after that is pick up your box with printed course materials, fully charged bots and tablets and show up at your assigned primary school. You even get assistants who help you with the distribution and collection of handouts, markers, bots and tablets. If you want to hide in the back of the classroom, volunteer to be that assistant. The course instructions tell you exactly what you need to say and do minute by minute. 

I found that running the course for an imaginary crowd - or my much younger children - to prepare for the actual course, helped me to identify tricky situations. It also encouraged me to come up with simple metaphors that would make the content easier to digest. It means you run the workshop twice, once at home and once at the primary school.

The kids loved it, it's great to see when they 'get it' and the confidence and pride they show when they complete a puzzle is lovely to witness. I enjoyed the whole experience as much as the pupils. It helps if you have done some programming, but it is not a requirement for delivering the workshops. I had never worked with a Scratch-like programming language before. 

I highly recommend participating in the Ozobot programme. If it didn't leave a lasting impression of fun with the children, it certainly did with me."

Ozobot Problem-Solving Workshops – Get Involved!

Are you interested in fostering the next generation of problem solvers? To sign up or to find out more, contact Emma Clarke at emma.clarke@adaptcentre.ie

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