Taking Gadgeteer to school


Very cool!

Colin is the kind of person I’d love to have had as a teacher in high school. I’m sure the students had a fantastic time. :slight_smile:

[quote]The good news is that Gadgeteer is spreading.[/quote] True that!
But I think MS can do more in that area.

For example they can sponsor Hydra Kit for every attendee of the coming MADExpo 2012

@ Architect:

Heh…I’m going to get a chance to chat with Kerry and Colin next week, and I’ll be sure to pass along your suggestion. :slight_smile:

So how can we expand on the Microsoft program and get [pick your discipline] engineers teaching in their local high school or community center? Some kind of federal or state level public/private partnership? Tax breaks for companies that participate? Would a community be better served if such a class was not attached to a public high school, but instead was open to anybody via a local hackerspace or similar tech center? What kind of vetting process would ensure the quality of the education was good if the would be educator had no direct teaching experience? If someone in this forum said they would like to do something like this would GHI provide hardware, or put that person in touch with someone who might have funding (like MS)?

In my experience, there is no lack of motivation in both the public and private sector for programs like this, but many are stymied by a lack of adequate funding. It boils down to the old cliche - it’s not what you know, but who you know (with deep philanthropic pockets) that gets things like this started.

@ devhammer

That would be nice.

Do you know how many attendees were there last year?

@ ransomhall and @ Architect

In case the smiley didn’t make it clear, my comment about sharing @ Architect’s request was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. As much as it would be lovely to have those kinds of resources, most of us don’t have large budgets, and I’m sure the Gadgeteer team is no exception there.

I don’t say that to pour cold water on the ideas, but rather to temper expectations.

Regarding attendance, we somewhere between 200 and 250 last year, if I recall correctly. We’re hoping we can grow that significantly this year, now that we’re a bit more established.

Keep in mind that if school or anyone buy volume, they get discounts. Things can be very affordable in volume. The kit can cost less than a college level book.

@ devhammer

I totally understand that. Compared to other gadgets that MS was given recently at conferences (Kinects, Win8 tables, etc,) Hydra kit would be much more affordable form of sponsorship. I think it is a win/win for everybody.

I like to add that GHI is willing to discount you near cost to get this schools. We will make money later, when kids want to buy their own kit or want to add more modules.

Also, to put a bit of context on my rant of questions - I sit on the board of my son’s school and here an inordinate amount of chatter about STEM education. So far, that’s all it is, just chatter. I tend to get on my soapbox when the topic comes up, particularly when local politicians go on about the great things they’ll do like bring practical engineering skills into a high school program (we have mayoral/city council election coming up next week).

@ Gus - Thanks for the feedback. I’m just starting to work with a local college that has some funds available for this sort of thing. They have a shiny new tech center and have expressed interest in doing some community outreach in the form of weekend workshops.

If only more manufacturers thought like this! This is one of those things that really makes a difference.
GHI should be applauded for their commitment to the education market and their long term view of the business. Its refreshing ;D

P.S I would love to see an Expo like MADExpo in the UK :). Makefair isnt happening here this year :’(