Newtown Innovation Labs (iLabs) is a not-for-profit, community learning space located on campus in Newtown Secondary School in Waterford. Modelled on Microsoft Dreamspace.It is a creative place for students to learn through hands on, practical workshops; Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM).
Since opening in January 2020, a number of free STEAM workshops have been run for students and teachers in Waterford city. A prominent focus throughout these workshops has been the application of social innovation projects with the UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind. The design and development of technology enhanced solutions for the benefit of individuals, communities and society is an important goal for iLabs (#computerscienceforgood).
Funding secured from the Public Service Innovation fund was used to increase our reach to run free STEAM workshops in the South East for 1) student groups and 2) teachers at both primary and secondary level. The overall aim of the workshops was to increase the teaching of computer science and thus computational thinking, in both primary and secondary classrooms. This is in response to a trend of research that shows there is a lack of knowledge within schools about computer science, despite investment in the sector.
Workshop 1: ScribbleBot
During this workshop, you will be introduced to motors and circuitry basics as well as encouraged to gather found materials around your home which you will use to design and build your own ScribbleBot. You will receive your own kit which will include the technology needed to complete this activity. We encourage you to think about how you can re-use everyday materials in innovative ways and how the materials you use affect the function of your ScribbleBot.
Workshop 2: LED LightBox
You will be introduced to LEDs and circuit building as well as encouraged to gather found materials around the home which you will use to design and build an LED Lightbox. You will receive your own kit which will include the technology needed to complete this activity. We encourage you to think about how you can re-use everyday materials in innovative ways, especially in relation to construction and light diffusion.
The motors/led’s/batteries kit needed to participate in the workshop will be posted to you or available for collection from Newtown School.
Each workshop will include access to preparation videos for participants to engage with prior to an online 1hr zoom workshop. The preparation videos are propitiatory material and are not for reuse or distribution by participants.