31st August was a very special moment for us because not only did we have our first ever official VIVISTOP Orchard workshop, Our 10-year old member Kayden Lee and crew member Su Yuen conducted a Microbit and Robot Car workshop for our members! The more insane story is the workshop was planned and executed within one week! Talk about kids showing the adults how it’s done.
From the get go, Kayden had a clear idea of what he wanted. He wanted to teach the other VIVISTOP Orchard members how to code a Microbit and the Maqueen Robot Car. The moment the topic was decided, he swiftly got down to business starting with all the pre-workshop materials on his own initiative. What are we talking about? We will let these photos speak for itself!
Yup! He thought of and created everything above by himself. He even tested the materials with our crew members and some kid members at the stop for user feedback before making the final version for publishing.
The Meat (How do we make this fun?)
Kayden started off by creating PowerPoint slides of the materials we wanted to teach. This would turn out to be more than 3 days of iterations, refinements and trial and errors. Every night Kayden would return home after VIVISTOP Orchard closed to continue the discussions with Su Yuen over Skype.
The challenge was getting members with 0 programming knowledge to be motivated, engaged and yet not find the material too overwhelming.
In between the slides were programming tasks and assignments. However, this came across as boring. We were wondering “Hmm.. how can we make this more fun?”. In the spirit of facilitation and not spoon feeding, Su Yuen decided to seed the idea of gamification with Kayden. We renamed the tasks/assignments to “Missions”, attached scores to each of them, created a scoreboard and peppered in some Help Cards.
Being a kid, Kayden was quick to pick up on this and had a laser sharp idea of what would excite fellow members.
Every night, Kayden kept role-playing and running through the plan in his mind to see how he can make it more fun and friendly for members of all technical capabilities. The idea of team play and collaboration came up.
On the day before the workshop, Kayden thought of the idea of making an introductory demo video. The purpose of this is to show kids what they would achieve at the end of the workshop while exciting them! And… here’s the video along with the final slides!
Every team was successful in coding a Robot car that could evade obstacles! The gamification mechanics and scoreboard worked a charm. All the kids had fun, finished all the “missions” and achieved our end goal! A tiring but fun and fruitful day!
For the rest of the story, we will let the photos speak for themselves (while Kayden starts planning his next workshop)! Thanks Kayden for conducting our first ever VIVITA Singapore workshop! 🙂
Videos of the kids in action!