Think 3D printing, coding and electronics: just some of the skills that will be developed as kids build their own customised robot over the two day camp. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage young minds further in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). These areas and the future skills that they encumber, are vital in kids and young adult education as the workforce evolves at speed with automation and the digital age.
Sam Withers, SOLDER’s Prototype Lab Technician and Summer Camp facilitator adds, “Automation is growing and the distribution of roles is changing. 40% of jobs are likely to be impacted, with 70% of young people in training for roles that will likely be automated. Technology fields are growing as a result of more data and automation and there is a predicted demand for an increase for digital literacy.”
The unfortunate reality is that the formal education system is limited in teaching many of the skills that will be demanded of the youth of today in the workforce. Less than 1 in 10 teachers are professionally trained in future skills, and with a limited knowledge of the subject matter it is challenging for them to implement the required content.
“Training in STEM fields, in particular areas like coding, robotics and computer modelling are necessary to ensure kids are digitally literate and agile to meet the needs of the workforce” adds Sam. Opportunities where high school age kids are introduced to modern technologies, by industry professionals and by members of the startup community are vital to inspire the next gen of makers. It’s also about making STEM fun and real: putting the theory into practice and actually creating 3D projects.
The SOLDER Summer Camp provides a hands-on approach which will expand the technical and creative skills for young makers in the making. “The maker movement is about growing the capability of people to become creators rather than consumers” Sam shares. Over two days, young makers at the camp will learn the fundamentals of three key technologies: modelling with Tinkercad, coding the Microbit with Python, and implement various electronic circuits. Creative ideas and freshly learnt skills don’t end after the lab time though, with participants taking home their robots to code and program new creations once the camp has ended. It’s all about empowering the next generation with the skills needed to thrive in their future careers.
The City Of Perth supports the SOLDER Summer Camp and has 5 subsidised tickets for the reduced price of $250 for the first 5 next-gen makers to sign up. Regular tickets are $400 and limited places include the delivery of content, mentoring and support of each maker, the supervised use of SOLDER prototyping lab and 3D printers, catering (so lunch is taken care of!), and the robot, custom 3D printed avatar, and cheat sheets all to be taken home at the completion of the camp.