Monday, 18 April 2016

Young Makers Create a Buzz at Hacksoton 2016

This morning feels a bit like an anticlimax after the excitement of Hacksoton 2016 on Saturday. This year Hacksoton invited young coders and makers to attend the event in a really big way.

Tech Age Kids, organised workshops, demonstrations and presentations to inspire young people to get creative with tech.
We were delighted to have three awesome makers to give presentations about their projects.

  • Tracy and her 7 year old son, took along Roby, the robotic dog, they have been making using the mBot robotic kit.
  • James Bruton, from XRobots brought along his 3 BB8 life size robots and gave a demonstration on how he made them. The BB8s captivated the audience even when one lost a head!
  • Camiel Verschoor from inspired young makers with his story. What started as a student project using technology for a good cause, helping save the Rhinos in South Africa, now, at age 25 has turned into a business.

There was lots to see and do at Hacksoton, especially for families.
  1. The table of micro:bits from Barclay's Eagle Labs was busy all day. Quite a lot of adults came along to have a go as well as the kids having a fab time. Thanks Sharon!

  2. SimBrix proved a big hit with our young makers. Lots of colourful Pixel Art got created throughout the day.
  3. Camiel from BirdsAI gave a really inspiring talk on how his company has been using drones to help protect and manage wildlife in South Africa.
  4. We got SAM Labs modular electronic hooked up to Minecraft and ran several sessions where kids used a real Minecraft sword to attack and mine and a button to place places.
  5. James from XRobots willingly talked about his awesome BB-8 robots all day and gave demonstrations. 
  6. Bracken from So Make It ran his first ever Printwood Derby 3D-printed motorized car race. Kids used 123D Design to create the cars which were 3D printed on the spot. It did get a little bit competitive!
  7. So Make It were also willing to help kids design 3D models and print them out during the day. 
  8. The amazing Howard did some fab stuff with hooking up LEDs and a motor to the Electro-Mats to add even more excitement to working with the Bee Bots and voice recorders.
  9. Howard also helped a team of kids create a junk modelling plus electronics starting gate to start the Printwood Derby off it style. 
  10. Kids got to see the mBot robot in both its out of the box form and built into the form of Roby the robot dog.
  11. Ian did a fab job of getting some cool MaKey MaKey projects going during the day including Pacman controlled by a play dough controller.
  12. Tracy's older son was really excited to talk about his LEGO Sisyphus Kinectic sculpture (based on a model from JK Brickworks.)
  13. Jeremy did a fantastic job of teaching kids and adult to code and was really pleased to help Tracy's 7 year old build the first eTeddy with a Seahorse board (Jeremy has been wanting to make an eTeddy for a while.)

The Show and Tell at the end of the day was dominated by young coders, some who actually worked all day in the adult hack space. Children as young as 5, got on stage and shared about the projects they made during the day.

Hacksoton 2016 was buzzing with creativity. Massive thank you to So Make It from Southampton, Camiel, James, Sharon and volunteers from Young Digital Makers, who came along and made the day fab for families.

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