HacKidemia is a Mobile Innovation Lab that enables future changemakers to solve problems together. We are allowing children and all members of local communities that support them to discover and learn about new technologies, art and science in an interactive way through hands-on workshops an interactive wiki of making.
Tell us about yourself/your team.
The first Hackidemia workshop was led by Stefania Druga in Paris in June of 2012. The event enabled young makers aged 11-13 to build and program robots with intelligent legos, create an interactive book, and dance while playing music on an Arduino carpet. Since then workshops have been held or are being developed in Cambodia, Romania, Hungary, Brazil and San Francisco and the team has grown from one to three: Brent Dixon, based in Austin, is a specialist in interactive media, film, and user experience design; Bobi Rakova in Sofia, Bulgaria works in Computer Science as a software developer; and Stefania is currently working toward a PhD at The Interdisciplinary Research Center, Paris Descartes.
What makes you an intrapreneur? What are the skills, capabilities, and personality traits that make you an intrapreneur?
I am young and passionate innovator. I have a strong technical background and at the same time I have learnt to make my way in any field no matter what people expect. I'm always trying to see the best in any situation and to learn new things. I love kids and the way they are open to any crazy idea and always ready to experiment. I think I have always felt the same way. I see something good in everybody and I am truly grateful for all the people and circumstances that surround me!
About Your Organization
United States, CA, San Francisco
Primary country where this project is creating social impact
Additional countries or regions
USA, France, Brazil, Nigeria, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)
The Need: What social or environmental problem are you trying to solve?
The Education system should adapt to what the young changemakers actualy need to better understand the world around them. The project is aimed at children developing STEM and entrepreneurship skills for social impact, girls, minority kids that don't speak yet the language but could very well learn by hands-on workshops and be motivated by quick successes, parents and grand-parents that will assist the children in solving social challenges, students and teachers that wish to learn how to animate and create the challenges, communities where the solutions of the game will be implemented. A problem we also want to look at is that kids in hospitals don't have the access to the latest inventions in Robotics, 3D Printing, etc. We want to change this!
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
With Hackidemia we are allowing children and all members of local communities that support them to discover and learn about new technologies, art and science in an interactive way through hands-on workshops that will motivate them to compete in solving social problems from their local community (like how do we filter our water better, or how could I create a more efficient energy source for my house). The volunteers that are organising the workshops are trained through the same active learning process that is being implemented with the kids during the workshops:
-introduce a new technology
-do something together with the kids
-help the kids explain to their peers what are the steps they took to achieve what they did in the workshop
It is very important to use resources participants have access to. We have a wiki of making where kids publish there projects and can learn more about everything we do during the workshops.
The Solution: Why is this solution innovative for your company and industry?
This methodology allows us to train the children and introduce them to new technology, art and science and the practical applications but also to educate indirectly the volunteers and the parents that are involved.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities.
We started the first campaign of mentor trainings and workshops in 10 schools in Lagos with the goal of solving grand challenges by using existing technologies and knowledge. This allowed us to train more than 400 kids and 50 volunteers and get the funding for the first permanent lab in Lagos/ and national training campaign for mentors. Old mentors are now the new trainers of trainers and they will lead the national campaign. This will create the platform for making projects collaboration and Iteration of design and development of social challenges with children, students and teachers.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
Skillshare/ khan academy/ Gooru. We provide a hands-on learning experience which enables a quicker community building process and a more personal learning experience. We wish to collaborate with this organisations in the future and we already signed and agreement with Gooru so we can complement each other projects: they provide the theoretic documentation and we provide the hands-on currriculum for STEM classes.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
In the summer of 2011 Stefania decided to leave Google and go to an orphanage in Cambodia where she could work with 100 children of all ages and teach them how to speak English and use new technology. After working with them for four months and setting up a computer lab she realized that the kids worked much better in mixed groups as the older ones that spoke better English would explain to the younger ones how to use the computers or solve different tasks.
This methodology of circles of study also has the advantage that the kids who are explaining need to understand very well the concepts in order to be able to explain them to someone else. That was the aha moment for me and Stefania decided that she would try to replicate this learning model in other countries and see if it has the same results.
Together with a team of Singularity Students(Bogdana) and teaching fellows (Brent) we decided to create this platform.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
France- 100 kids in the two events/ 20 volunteers
Nigeria- 400 kids 50 volunteers (kids were making solar panels)
-brazil -600 kids- 7 volunteers/ 50 teachers
-berlin- 15 kids, 7 volunteers
40 kids in Dallas - soldering, kids building mikes, experiment with making different sounds, DIY craft instruments
Sofia - 60kids and an upcoming event in January
Romania - 60 kids
Russia - upcoming event in January
The first Hackidemia in the DELL Children's Hospital is happening today with the help of Marcella Maxwell
What is your projected impact over the next 1 to 3 years?
Our goal is to create 10 permanent labs and create a first prototype of the social challenge hub for kids platform in the first 12 months Each lab could train and kickstart teams from neighbouring areas and this will lead to 100 labs in next 3 years who will be designing and using the social challenge for kids platform. 10000 kids and 5000 students using our platform in five years from now.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
We would a lot more resources and volunteers. This why everywhere we do a Hackidemia event we try to
- engage with local community organizations, hackerspaces, schools, Universities
- we buy only local resources
- we spread the world and inspire more young people to join as volunteers
What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?
HacKidemia is a Mobile Innovation Lab that enables future changemakers to solve real-world problems by accessing hands-on, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education that emphasizes creativity, ingenuity and play. School by school/community by community this will create a new learning model for sciences, art and technologies and prepare the next autonomous research and development (R&D) generation.
How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?
We use our international network from Singularity University in order to find local support for our project and we collaborated with all sorts of institutions: schools, NGO, companies in order to make an ecosystem change and involve all the local stakeholders. We also have a polymath team that could cover with limited expenses the development of initial tools and materials.
Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.
With data from first series of workshops we will make a complete hands-on curriculum for CS and STEAM existing curriculum that will be provided by subscription model to schools and publishing houses. We will also develop a complete hacking kit (arduino for kids) that families could purchase and use at home.
Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.
We care very much about the community and the social impact of our project and that shows in everything we do. We tried to minimise discussion time and collaborate mainly with individuals and organisations which are results driven and believe in the grass-roots actions.
What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?
Friends from all fields and backgrounds have offered to help us either on communitu building side or on backend development side. We experience the snowball effect with our international workshops as many people got inspired and decided to help.
Danie Craft, who is a physician-scientist who chairs the FutureMed program at Singularity University is in our board of advisers. He is going to help us set up educational workshops with kids in hospitals.