Innovative fun at Codomo’s Family Design Workshop

Over the Hari Raya Haji holiday, we were invited to Codomo‘s first ever Family Design Workshop at SUTD.

I was very impressed with Codomo’s programme when Sean attended the Design Innovation holiday camp at Keys Academy. Till today, it probably stands as the best holiday class my kids have ever been to!

To kickstart the Family Design Workshop, Aditya asked us what came to mind when we thought of the words ‘Design’ and ‘Innovation’.

As you can see from the word map above, words like ‘create’, ‘make’, ‘useful’ ranked highly among the entries. Aditya went on to explain that good design does not only mean making things look beautiful or sleek. More importantly, good design or innovation means coming up with solutions for people’s needs, whatever they may be.

Then we were introduced to the concept of ‘chindogu’ which is the process of creating something from two seemingly unrelated items.

We were asked to brainstorm what we could create with two random items on our table – a thick elastic band – you can see it on Ryan’s head in the pics – and a plastic clip. The boys and I came up with 3 different ideas (eg. using the band + clip to hold up notices on a pillar, or hanging up a bag of snacks in the car). How ingenious!

Next came the Spaghetti Tower Challenge. With nothing more than 20 strands of spaghetti, masking tape and string, we were tasked to make the tallest tower possible that could support a piece of marshmallow on top in 20 minutes. Quite challenging, but we did it! Can you see our precarious marshmallow tower? Ours was not the tallest but hey at least it was quite stable. Good fun!

During the break we were introduced to a carnival game designed by Codomo – they have an upcoming Micro:bit Carnival Tycoon holiday workshop this Sep holidays – as well as a Kickstarter-backed coding card game called Potato Pirates. I am going to get a set for Sean once it is launched!

We got reacquainted with Makey Makey during our final challenge. Makey Makey is a very ingenious kit that allows you to turn anything that can conduct electricity into touchpads.

With paper clips on paper cups, we designed a user-friendly game console for persons with disabilities. It worked great and the boys had a lot of fun playing Pacman with it! (Thought it was very cute as Ryan was holding the Earth wire and they had to complete the circuit by holding hands!)

It was a really fun and engaging workshop for the family. I loved that we were all encouraged to go all out and be as creative as possible. I do hope  Codomo will continue to hold such family design workshops in future!

Just to share, Codomo will be holding two half-day holiday workshops on 6 Sep 2017 – you still have today to sign up!

Micro:Bit Carnival Tycoon (Age 6-8)

6 September, 9am – 12pm
Get your kids to learn programming and electronics using the Micro:bit.

Potato Pirates Python (Age 9 – 12)

6 September, 1pm – 4pm
Learn 10 hours of programming concepts and basics of Python in 3 hours.

Happy holidays!