Initially, Makers for Inclusion carry out an awareness-raising task, based on carrying out outreach activities that arouse interest and encourage the learning of techniques related to digital manufacturing. It is also essential the involvement of educational agents in the territory and the development of complementary activities to the educational curriculum, extracurriculars, open workshops ... In which areas? Scratch programming, electronics with Arduino and free hardware, sound technologies, digital manufacturing and 3D printing, video game creation, internet of things, etc.
When arousing interest in these matters, we work in three lines:
- Work on technological vocations, directing participants to less precarious work camps
- Work to improve the self-perception, autonomy and empowerment of the participants. Although they do not end up working in this branch, the acquisition of knowledge and skills a priori far from their experience improves their social situation.
- Analyze possibilities of new professional profiles around technology and education, based on detected needs of the school community in the neighborhood.
Audience and Educational Framework
Makers for Inclusion is a project that offers citizens an opportunity to approach and appropriate digital manufacturing in a broad sense. From playful and educational activities it wants to introduce concepts, work skills and bring knowledge and techniques that, a priori, are not accessible to citizens living in the Raval.
The focus on approaching these new techniques and technologies is strongly marked by a socio-economic bias. While it is true that in Barcelona there are many experiences that bring digital manufacturing closer to the public, successful experiences continue to occur among sectors of the population with a medium-high socio-educational profile. Spaces and projects in this area are often not permeable to neighborhoods where there is a high risk of exclusion, where the socio-economic level of its inhabitants is below the city average and where the results of the education system require special support. We are in a situation where we run the risk of creating a two-speed Barcelona, an innovative and creative one, and one that goes after it, creating a second-level digital divide.
This project wants to work to avoid this crack in the Raval of Barcelona, a neighborhood where we have been working at community level since our birth and where we are already making bets for the social transformation of our environment, and for the social and solidarity economy. Makers for Inclusion is aimed at children and young people, women, vulnerable groups or those at risk of exclusion, families, agents of the educational community, non-profit organizations and social education professionals.
> Consultancy for teachers
> Workshops in schools
> Workshops after school with NGOs and libraries
> Research on new job profles related with maker culture and technology
> Robotics kits&books at public library
(O1) - Technology for social value projects, dissemination and contact 16 schools, with 50 participating, build 4 projects to solve a community challenge where technology adds a specific value, implemented by young people
O2 - Teacher consulting and co-design sessions with 16 teachers and design thinking expert, define community challenge and design the learning experience for young students, teachers see how to use technology as a tool in project based learning
O3 - Student workshops - empowerment in the design and use of maker technology, to motivate towards STEAM careers, 80 students receive 12 weekly workshops in 4 schools, students create a solution for a community challenge using digital and maker technology
O4 - Service-learning activities for kids, with student mentors facilitating workshops on maker technology, students teach their younger peers from neighbouring primary school, 80 kids in 4 primary schools or afterschool activities, kids have a playful and creative experience with maker technology
O5 - Play&learn toolkits on maker technology available freely for families through local library, 25 sets of open hardware kits with Arduino, MakeyMakey, Microbit and Android tablet, didactical resources for kids and families, complemented with exercises on educational programming with Scratch, adding new value to library offer, foster connection with school community and open library to new public
O6 - Student progress in key competences computational thinking (CT) and soft skills, students will improve these key competences during the project, participatory evaluation helps to prove impact and effectiveness
O7 - Teacher learning-by-doing through consulting sessions and participation in workshops they will be enabled and prepared to design the following implementations, 50% of teachers will join for next school year and 25% will implement on their own and with volunteer support from students
O8 - Interpersonal relationships in school and social context, improved self-esteem and confidence, motivation for a better professional future perspective and improved key competences help to change relationships in- and outside classroom
Computers, Kits de robòtica mBot, microbits, 3D printers,
(where and how the practice was implemented)
In relation to the objectives of this project, both schools and organizations have agreed that it can help foster technological vocations. Despite this, participants did not indicate a greater interest in technology-related work after doing the workshop. This could be related to the fact that from the schools it was preferred to develop these activities only within the technological branch of the schools, therefore, the students already had some interest in these jobs. Looking to future projects, it would be interesting to promote these subjects in all areas of interest in order to incorporate them into cross-curricular subjects, without forgetting the limitation that the Educational Curriculum represents in schools.
On the other hand, schools and organizations have also considered that the project can promote the improvement of the social situation of the participants, also specifying the centers that are very important to direct young people to new training itineraries. In relation to this aspect, it is of particular interest that the participants indicate that after doing the workshop, they are able to do robotics activities independently. In the long run, this improvement in personal vision can help to carry out more such activities and thus improve the chances of success in relation to their social situation. In addition, participants indicate that after the workshop they talk more about topics related to robotics with peers, which can contribute to the dissemination of such activities so that more young people can enrich development opportunities in this direction.
Therefore, it can be considered that, although no change has been seen in the technological vocations, the impact that the project has had has been positive improving the self-perception, autonomy and empowerment of the participants, to more of the diffusion among the peer group.
Lessons learned from the 1st pilot:
Include design thinking methodology and consulting sessions with teachers to strengthen their knowledge and self-esteem in designing motivating learning experiences, work with experts in design thinking. All teachers participating in pilot decided to repeat the following school year.
We need to work with teachers specifically on how to avoid/change stereotypes in relation with ICT careers, beginning from gender specific stereotypes up to changing the hacker/freak image of certain CS professions.
Technology as an added value in a project based learning experience, designed with the teachers and based in real needs of the school community is a strong motivation element for girls and boys to equally work on the project and improve their computational and digital competences. For example we built an automated watering system with Arduino for a school that just created an urban garden on the roof of the school building.
We could see changes in motivation towards STEAM careers and improvement in interpersonal relationships in classroom (confirmed by teacher feedback). 50% of students said they are more motivated to study CS/engineering after our workshops.
We should invest resources in doing a more complete desk research about the state-of-the art, get to know other inspiring projects in our field of work, exchange experience and learn from/with similar projects.
Design carefully the evaluation we want to do, introduce co-designing the student progress assessment with teachers so it’s result will be more useful for both, school and project, reduce complexity in evaluation, do anonymized evaluation wherever possible and follow implement ethical research protocol.
Research about job profile has just started, we have surveyed educators working as trainers for computational thinking regarding their view on qualifications and competences needed for this profile, and we did a short survey with NGOs and public libraries offering CT activities for kids about their actual needs of qualified professionals or training, and future perspectives.
Educational material/resources (file/URL) accompanying the practice
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