Almost two weeks ago, organized by Joek Van Montfort from the Netherlands who is doing amazing job in organizing Scratch conferences across Europe and is now stepping in helping Africans to be part of Scratch community, African Scratchers met in Nairobi, Kenya. There are a couple of reasons this meeting took place and some of which are to give Africa a strong voice in Scratch community, plan for Scratch Conference in Bordeaux and how Africa can be represented, share our best practices, and more importantly building African Scratch network and have fun. Here are top three things happened which you should know.
Series of presentations
Foondi Workshop: http://www.foondiworkshops.com/
Foondi Workshop of Juliet Wanyiri is a constructionist workshops to individuals that encourages maker movement in Kenya through a variety of topics, from Electronics, Internet of Things to 3D printing modeling in Kenya.
Mekatilili Programs: http://mekatililiprogram.strikingly.com/
Mekatilili Programs of Marian Muthui encourages women to be part of engineering fields and bridge the gap between girls and boys in engineering career.
She Codes for Change: http://shecodesforchange.org/
She Codes for Change is a Tanzanian based organization that encourages girls in STEM subjects more specifically to get them inspired, educated and equipped with computing skill.
WareFab of Mercy Ngoiri is a digital fabrication lab (I would say) that makes educational kits, 3D printing, and other digital technologies in Kenya. Mercy and team have and scratch-n-sketch which can help Scratch export their codes in this board and interact with physical objects.
Started in Morocco and now expanding in Angola, Cod Cod Codet of Fleur-Eve Le Foll aims to promote innovation from early childhood through learning how to code and tinker with physical programming.
Kepler Tech Lab also being renamed I4Fab (Innovation for Fabrication): http://keplertechlab.wordpress.com/
Kepler Tech Lab is a social innovation center and engineering teaching laboratory introduce after-school engineering enrichment programs in electronics, computer programming, and Creative Capacity Building to students and local communities in Kigali, Rwanda
Sugar Labs: https://www.sugarlabs.org/
Sugar Labs represented by Samson Goddy, makes a collection of tools that learners use to explore, discover, create, and reflect. It helps children create their own applications through computer programming. Need to learn more about Sugar Labs.
Easy coding: http://easycoding.tn/
Easy coding of Adel Kassah introduces and teaches students computational thinking, coding microcontroller using Adel’s own Arduino Blocs and other computer programming related subjects.
The host Max at United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya, talks about the most recent coding bootcamp at USIU
Neema Gichaara talks about Tinker Education and its promotion of children and the youth to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, reasoning and communication skills through Computer Science centred STEM education. With its headquarters in South Korea, Tinker Education Ltd. is the Nairobi branch of global educational technology company, EMCAST.
Variety of workshops
IoT (Internet of Things)
Swahili Version of Scratch
To facilitate over 100,000,000 Swahili speakers be able to use Scratch easily, Scratch Nairobi meeting considered to translate Scratch in Swahili and it is available very soon
We had great convos with Mitchel Resnick and Kreg Hanning. Mitch is the Professor at the MIT Media Lab, director of the team that develops, coordinates, and supports Scratch and Kreg is a Graduate Student and Research Assistant at MIT Media Lab. Kreg works with a team of developers on Scratch. They both shared with African community the historic background of Scratch and plans for a future version of Scratch (Stay hungry with improved features).
Plan for Bordeaux
Without a plan for Bordeaux, this meeting would not otherwise take place in Nairobi; maybe it would happen but with different purpose. After all activities, there was a room for opportunities to explore how Africans can better be represented in Bordeaux this July 2017. Whoever is going to make Scratch2017BDX should expect incredible presentations, posters, and or ignite talks from Africans.
Did I say movie night among highlights? 🙂