Tinkering into the Future

Tinkering into the Future

June 08, 2016 at 03:06pm

What will work look like 15 or 20 years from now? Ask any thoughtful head of school and they will tell you it’s almost impossible to imagine. So, what’s essential is that today’s primary and secondary school students learn to be creative and fluent in the technologies of tomorrow.

A recently concluded “Make.Code.Tinker” workshop for a group of Abu Dhabi students, gives a glimpse of what that future might look like. Their final projects included video games that they’d coded themselves, digital 3D design files for printing on a 3D printer, and other creative tech projects.

Held at the GE Ecomagination Innovation Center at Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, the workshop was held as part of the GE Garages initiative, the company’s ongoing commitment to instill an understanding of next-generation technologies among young people across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region.

GE joined hands with MakersBuilders, a tech and coding education start-up, to host the four-week long workshop for students from the GEMS Cambridge International School, Abu Dhabi and the children of GE employees.

“By hosting the program, we are underlining our commitment to foster localized innovation and help build the skills of our community in the latest technologies,” said Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation Officer for GE in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

The Make.Code.Tinker workshop was designed to foster curiosity and excitement for new skills among the student participants by using fun and educational technology kits including , Scratch coding software from MIT Media Labs, mBlock visual programming, Adruino programming, sensors and controls and tinkering using the Arduino board, ultra-sound sensors, motion sensor and sound sensors, 3D modelling using Tinkercad, 3D printing, and introduction to programming concepts.

“GE Garages is our flagship experiential educational program that focuses on helping build advanced skills among members of the community – youth and adults alike. The ‘Make.Code.Tinker’ workshop was an exceptional concept by MakersBuilders that complemented our initiatives of promoting 3D printing, design, and coding skills in the region,” Rostom added.

GE works with a range of partners to promote innovation-enabling environments in the UAE and across the region. The GE Ecomagination Innovation Center features the UAE’s first GE Garages workshop, a space where programs are held in a fully equipped lab, to show how the future of digital industrial manufacturing is changing the world.

Initiative such as this reflect GE broader support to startups such as MakersBuilders and other organizations – such as Wamda – that foster a culture of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the region.

GE is collaborating with Wamda to support entrepreneurship, including through the MEMakers initiative: a partnership between GE and Wamda to support and enable the region’s industrial entrepreneurship movement.

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