STEM Discovery Week Belgium: 3 in 1 !

Hello to everyone ! My name is Nathalie and I am the founder of a non profit coding lab for kids in Brussels: wearecoders.org

I’ve started this project for my 10-year-old son two years ago. He was a hardcore video-gamer and I wanted him to do something useful out of it, not being only a consumer but to become an true creator of his passion.

So for a year, along with some friends, we provided them every week a two hour class on Scratch to learn the basics of CS thinking, creating their own games : Flappy Bird, Scratch, Mario… and to customize them in a way they would liked it most to play.

It was a real success, kids enjoyed it very much. So since other kids wanted to join, we opened our school.

As for the STEM Discovery Week 2019, the initial idea was to give a conference to bring our project, but also to share our reflections about the tools we use. Because of our deep concern for Big Data issues, we think it’s important to engage some critical thinking about the EdTech tools that are used with children.

This conference happened at the “School Education and Transformation Technology” event in Namur and in the public were mostly educators. We had the pleasure to introduce them our favorite EdTech tools such as Scratch or Raspberry Pi, but also to share our interest for free and open source softwares and hardwares.

As a VP candidate for the Internet Society Brussels, it was also important for me to talk about it’s concern for the internet neutrality, accessibility and security. That was for Friday 26/04. The first of a three days STEM marathon.

Saturday, we gave our weekly classes. In the morning, coding in python a rock, paper, scissors game against the computer with the random function, on bash. During the afternoon, the youngest had a lot of fun starting their own version of Clone Wars on Scratch.

Sunday, we ran some workshops at the I Love Science Festival where our team had settled their camp for the whole week-end, and we had also a lot of fun to initiate about 75 kids to CS with a home made Flappy Bird. We also had the pleasure to present some possibilities on Raspberry Pi and the many projects linked to it.

It was again a great opportunity to talk with the public about the values of the Internet Society, and spread it’s vision.

What a weekend! So happy to share our passion!

Greetings from Belgium, Nathalie

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About nathaliekuborn

After 7 years of backpacking at the university of life to get new perspectives and experience different cultures, I spent 20 years gaining expertise in the communications field in an international environment. As I am passionately interested in education, cognitive sciences and new technologies, I founded a coding lab for kids in Brussels, where my main goals are : • Helping reduce the digital gap by educating kids from the age of 7 upwards. • Improving tech skills for girls by promoting role models and working on specific projects for girls from the age of 7 upwards. • Promoting free & open source solutions for a wider accessibility to educational tools. • Developing a teaching methodology for improving motivation based on principles derived from the cognitive sciences. • Sensitize young people to ethical issues and good digital practices. I am an active, entrepreneurial person, creative, pragmatic and I love to share.

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