Igniting interest in all things digital

(From left) SK Putrajaya Presint 8 (1) Year Five pupils Darwisyah Hadi and Alissa Qistina Am Qisti with the MBot during a robotics workshop at the school.

THEY have a dream - to reach out to 900 students in 30 schools over 30 days.

Just so students across Peninsular Malaysia can tinker and play with the latest technology, code, and “make things”.

And they are starting with SK Putrajaya Presint 8 (1).

Chumbaka, a social enterprise, recently launched their “Maker Mobile” at the school and plan on sending the four-wheel drive together with their volunteer mentors to allow children outside the Klang Valley to experience this digital movement sweeping the globe.

They plan on doing this by mobilising their “Maker Mobile” to go into even the most rural parts of the peninsula.

The Maker Mobile team comprises three Teach For Malaysia alumni Chong Zhi Xiong, Rachael Shalini Francis and Nigel Sim Boon Wei.

Initially, Chumbaka partner Sim says, they wanted to use a van as their “Maker Mobile” but due to budget constraints, they had to settle on a four-wheel drive.

“It makes more sense actually because a four-wheel drive will allow us to access more remote areas,” he says.

Chumbaka is a Cyberjaya-based social enterprise that works to provide accessible, technology-based education to all students.

“Although this project may seem like a touch-and-go approach, we hope to ignite students’ interest in the digital movement and hope more people will join in our effort to make this a movement more community based and sustainable.”

“We transport equipment and travel largely using our very own vehicles.

“Given that constraint, there has been a limit to how many students we can reach on a regular basis,” he adds.

During the launch, the school’s headmistress Naemah Ismail says the pupils will learn how to “make things” using ICT skills such as robotics and coding.

The inaugural workshop at the school was for robotics and Sim says mentors will be in charge of conducting the three-hour workshops for 30 students at each school.

There are four workshops to choose from - robotics, coding, embedded system and 3D structure.

The type of workshop conducted will be chosen based on what is required by the school based on demand and available facilities.

Webe chief marketing officer Nazeem Nasir says they want to encourage more students to delve into the sciences and the Maker Mobile is a good initiative to foster a desire to pursue the sciences.

“Projects like the Maker Mobile help to bridge the education gap between the more urban and rural areas of Malaysia.

“That plays an important role in helping to build a stronger nation of makers,” he adds.

Those who are interested in supporting the project or becoming volunteers can visit http://sites.google.com/view/chumbakamakermobile/home.

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Education , digital learning , volunteers , schools


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