Namibia Flying Labs places a high value on educating the next generation and developing the potential of future scientists and engineers, which is why we are motivated to explore the RockitSmart Kit. We firmly believe that to create positive change in society and a better world, we must invest in the education of young people. Change is a gradual process that requires nurturing and development. This eagerness led us to consider this kit as a tool to shape the mindsets of Namibian youth for a better tomorrow. It will undoubtedly have a significant influence on society.
The training took place at the Mindsinaction venue during August and September 2023. Our primary aim was to train five instructors responsible for teaching learners and communities, beginning with the first cohort of 10 learners between 8 and 12 years old. The field of STEM education is constantly expanding, and new tools and materials emerge each year to spark curiosity in young minds. For this reason, Namibia Flying Labs collaborated with Mindsinaction to explore the endless possibilities offered by this kit.
An immersive educational adventure
The RokitSmart STEM Kit is more than just a set of parts; it’s an educational adventure that immerses children in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Designed for both beginners and more advanced learners, the kit includes a wide range of pieces that may be constructed into several projects that cater to a wide range of skill levels and interests. The kit provides step-by-step tutorials for various projects to ensure a smooth learning curve. These guides help students grasp essential concepts while encouraging them to experiment and personalize their designs. The challenges the kit’s projects pose encourage critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students learn to troubleshoot and iterate on their designs, fostering resilience and adaptability.
The fantastic training was offered twice a day and was structured into two: two-hour morning sessions with coaches and afternoon lessons for two and a half hours with the learners. During the sessions, the instructor explained the kit for the first few minutes and then gave tasks to the trainees to assemble the projects in their prescribed order. Upon completion, the instructor verified that the projects were made per the manual. The trainees were then given computers to write the necessary code. Once the code was complete, the instructors reviewed and tested it. Throughout the process, the trainees were allowed to ask questions and receive assistance to understand the concept.
Fostering creativity and innovation
The kit offers a multidisciplinary approach that exposes students to various STEM fields, enabling them to see the interconnectedness of these subjects. Students are encouraged to think outside the box and explore their creative ideas as they build and customize their projects. This freedom nurtures innovation and originality. Successfully completing projects boosts students’ confidence, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivating them to take on more challenges.
The hands-on experience with technology and engineering concepts can help students discover potential career paths early on, shaping their academic and professional aspirations. In today’s digital world, proficiency in STEM is crucial. The RokitSmart STEM Kit equips students with coding, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, positioning them for success in the 21st-century workforce. For Namibia Flying Labs and Mindsinaction, there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that we are contributing to the transformation of Namibia by equipping those who carry the nation’s potential.
Throughout this adventure, valuable lessons were learned, including a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of the RokitSmart kit. This includes understanding the components, how they work, and how to troubleshoot common issues. Secondly, the coaches learned to be adaptable when working with different students. Each learner had unique needs or challenges, and the trainers needed to adjust their teaching methods to accommodate various learning styles. Furthermore, effective communication skills were acquired as they learned to convey complex concepts simply and understandably, actively listening to students’ questions and concerns. Lastly and most importantly, this kit inspired the passion to further explore STEM kits to help shape the nation.
One of the challenges encountered was the varying backgrounds and abilities of the students, which led to differences in the time it took them to grasp concepts, particularly the coding part. Another major challenge was that parents did not want their children to have their photos taken, and the team is working to address this concern.
The RokitSmart STEM Kit isn’t just a learning tool; it’s a gateway to a world of innovation and discovery. This kit transforms STEM education into an adventure of creativity and exploration by engaging students in dynamic, hands-on activities that seamlessly blend theoretical concepts with practical applications. As we continue to witness rapid technological advancements, nurturing the budding minds of today with tools like the RokitSmart STEM Kit ensures that the innovators of tomorrow are well-equipped to shape our ever-evolving world. In a world where learning by doing has never been more important, the RokitSmart STEM Kit stands as a beacon of inspiration, lighting the path for future scientists, engineers, and problem solvers.