Parents and teachers often ask us how to they can move kids beyond just using technology. They ask us what they can do to how to encourage kids to think about how technology works, the implications of technology on humans, and the computer science knowledge and skills they will need to become technologists.
This summer, we’ve launched a feature via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to help parents and teachers who don’t have a background in computer science. Several times a week, we post videos or articles related to an example of interesting technology and questions they can discuss with children.
Computer science can be an intimidating subject for kids and their parents but just remember: technology is computer science in action.
Here’s some of the technology we’ve profiled so far:
Architecture: NASA’s top 5 Mars Habitat concepts
How can you build something when there are no construction workers to rely on? How does 3D printing in construction work? How do you give the builder robots instructions? What are the benefits of using robots on Mars?
Manufacturing: SewBo sewing robot
Why do you think SewBo was created? How do you control what the robot sews? What will happen if SewBo becomes popular? Is this change good or bad? For whom? What other things can SewBo be programmed to create in the future?
Art: flying sculpture made of drones
A flying sculpture made up of 300 drones which was created by Studio Drift, an Amsterdam-based artist collective, and displayed in Amsterdam last weekend. How did the artists control the drones so that they made patterns? What did they have to think about when creating the sculpture? How could the artists make the sculpture even more funky?
Eldercare: robots who care for elderly people in Japan
How is technology used to make these robots work? Why use robots to care for older people? What can they do that humans can’t? Would you like to have a care robot yourself? For what other purposes can you use care robots?
Hacking: Good or bad pursuit?
Many of the kids (especially boys) who participate in our computer science programs say that they want to become hackers. Questions to ask: What is hacking? Why would you want to become a hacker? What knowledge and skills do you need to know in order to become a hacker? Is hacking good or bad? Here’s a story to start the discussion: “A particularly alarming hack was carried out at the DEFCON hackathon conference over the weekend by an 11-year-old boy. He managed to hack into an imitation Florida state voting website and change the results of the “election” in fewer than 10 minutes.”
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