Buinho Education is a sub-branch of Buinho, a fablab located in the South of Portugal (www.buinho.pt). Besides aiming to contribute to the democratization of access to digital technologies, Buinho has been creating a specialization in the environmental sustainability field of action, since the creation of our region’s first Precious Plastic workshop (www.preciousplastic.com).
Since then, we have been developing innovative strategies that combine environmental and digital education, some of which have been recognized as good practices by the Erasmus program.
Toy Hacking Erasmus structured course is the result of previous and current activities of Buinho in the teaching of coding, robotics, and electronics using Electric Waste (EWaste), thus also focusing on green and societal competencies development.
Buinho currently coordinates an Erasmus consortium (PT01-KA121-SCH-000010598) that also aims to bring some of these innovative practices to 12 public schools in the region where we operate.
We are now sharing through this course a set of best practices that we have been designing and implementing in schools since 2018 when we first designed the first toy hacking and repair workshops in classrooms.
Toy hacking is mainly designed for activities with students from the first and second cycles of students (1st – 7th-year students). It is a fun way to teach electronics, robotics, and even programming. It gives a new life to old toys, bringing new and engaging content that enhances their original function. Toy hacking is very popular with students and teachers all across Europe because it is a simple, costless and engaging activity to have with children that enable educators and teachers to introduce more complex subjects in the field of STEAM.
It can be a fluffy toy, a broken music piano, or an RC car. You will learn how machines work, how they are engineered, and hack into their electronic components to have access to unlimited learning experiences with those old toys.
With this course, you will learn how to how identify electronic components to later operate them in fun and educational school projects, how to use electronic tools, and how to hack the function of traditional electronic objects with the help of microcontrollers that students can program to do other things. We will play with sound, light, sensors, remote communication, among other features that will capacitate you to fully extend the possibilities of Toy hacking in your classroom. All our courses are made in a fablab/makerspace environment, which means that the participants will be granted free access to other digital prototyping equipment like laser cutters or vinyl cutters, which can be helpful for the customization of the machines – Inside a fablab, the only limit is your imagination! As such, all the tools will be provided, we just ask the participants to bring a laptop as it will be needed for the software training.
Besides the normal training, we would like to highlight the fact that by taking this course you will also have free access to one hour of online courses and tutorials prepared by Buinho and available on our e-learning platform. Finally, the course also includes a cultural program for the participant, providing the opportunity to visit Portuguese landmarks and experience a bit of our Culture.
In Portugal, Buinho has been successfully teaching robotics, coding, and digital fabrication to children and youth from elementary to secondary school years, and we want to share some of our experiences with you. We have vast experience in teaching and capacitating teachers from different school years and with zero experience in these subjects. By working with public schools in Portugal we are also well aware of the budget constraints that in some cases provoke digital exclusion of poorer schools, and so have designed educational content that takes advantage of cheap or free equipment and components. In the case of this particular course, we also aim to raise the awareness of our students to the lack of sustainability of our consumerist society and the need to promote recycling, repairing, and reusing as good practices to a more sustainable future.
Target Groups – Elementary and Middle School teachers
Duration of the course – Five days
Total Cost of the Course – 400€
Note: Each class will have a maximum of 12 participants to provide higher quality standards and more individualized support.