This week, NewTechKids started a new ‘Problem-Solving with Computer Science & Programming’ at a primary school in Amsterdam.

Our first lesson: how technology helps us automate tasks so we can free up our time for other things. We discussed ‘smart’ household devices, what tasks they automate and how to design one. Then we challenged kids to design, build and program a robot to automate a specific task.

What a difference props make! We provided a bunch of kitchen utensils. Kids invented automated whisks, a motorized pizza cutter, and programmable serving spoons.

Our favourite: an automated salad spinner designed, built and programmed by a girl and boy who received a lot of teasing from the class for being the only boy/girl group. (Take that!)

This is how future product designers, engineers and technologists are nurtured.