Eat, sleep, survive is the basic boring loop every being in the entire universe is running on, only humans can add exciting subroutines to this loop because humans are curious, they explore, tinker, experiment and Make.
Humans do two things that make us unique from all other animals; we use tools and we tell stories. And when you make something, you’re doing both at once – Adam Savage
Maker and DIY festivals have been trending in world since 2006 as a gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come together to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.
To seed the maker-culture and stimulate the young generation of Pakistan with the ideas of making, LearnOBots has laid an impactful infrastructure, starting from Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The basic level, “Khoj”, aims at introducing, building interest and giving hands-on learning experience in streams of electronics, renewable energy, robotics, 3-D Modelling, 3-D Printing, game development and arts and crafts. Khoj advances to levels of Tajassus, Tajarba and Sciencedaan. Each level tends to equip students with more tools and skills that can help them bring their creativity and ideas to life. Few projects from Khoj level members include, automated tea maker, Automatic 3-way traffic control system, knock detector, Hands, Plot clock and a Wall-E inspired robot that seems to move its eyes in the direction its head is moved.
On 7th and 14th of August participants, who completed their Khoj Level-1 during the summer, celebrated Makers’ Day with their parents and team LearnOBots. The aim of holding Makers Day is to encourage students to keep on thinking, exploring and making. It is a platform for students to connect with their parents about their interests of learning, ideas they have cradled and aspirations they have built.
The Project Exhibition, displaying creative, interactive and simple yet intelligent projects made by students between ages of 8 to 16 at LearnOBots, inspired children with a dream of making something cool themselves and assured the parents of the productivity and positive transformation in their child’s thinking process.
It was exhilarating to see the parent’s fascination with the tools and activities that were on display. It was hard for them to believe that a child aged less than 16 years can make and control a robot with gestures as was made by two LearnOBots members; Haziq and Sher Bano. They were marvelled at the fact that their kids made and programmed 3-D Printed models, games, obstacle avoiding and line following robots. Having seen these projects with their own eyes and hearing their children converse and respond about how they made them and what else they would like to do further, they were proud of introducing constructive hobbies to their children and were delighted of the change they have helped bring in their child’s perspective of possibilities.
The traditional curriculum and teaching method cannot groom the innate instinct of curiosity and creativity because it is still clinging to the concept that tries to fit every piece in the same mould. The concept of preferring reading and writing as the only ways of learning, assigning age to time of handling tools and inventing and shunning an idea because the world wouldn’t be ready for it are ancient today. Countries are advancing because the maker culture is prevailing there and facilitating, fostering and bringing together their makers. LearnOBots is striving for the same fervour and freedom of creativity in Pakistan and is hoping to change the future.
You can watch some of these project videos on our Youtube Channel.
By: Quratulain Naqvi