Finally: The Final Day of our ARDUINO workshop in Ghasera

Saturday, October 19.
The day is dawning … Sohna … early morning on our way to the school. The final day of our ARDUIONO workshop.

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After our arrival at the school we started to get our “exhibition hall” ready. This day we were showing the objects we were working on during the week – the girls really got excited …

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The students were very proud when most of the teachers came to visit our little exhibition – and the teachers were somehow surprised of what we’ve had accomplished. At least some of them really got interested.

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Peter Kabel eplaining the idea of ARDUINO to the teachers

Even guests from Gurgaon and Jodhpur arrived. Mehmood Khan (left), with whom I’ve done quite some work recently, and his friend Akbar Khan – a farmer in a rural area 3 hours away from Ghasera whith plans for a girl education center – are discussing with Sandy the ARDUINO idea.

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At the end every student received a certificate. A proud moment for all of them.

The big question is though: what remains? How to make this experience not a once in a lifetime experience for them but to build something sustainable out of it?

Regarding the students all I can say is that this workshop proofed again if you give kids an environment where they can exchange ideas and practice and create – no matter how “poor” the environment is and no matter what their educational status is – they definitely make something out of it. It’s one thing to get things easy running in a perfect environment (electricity, proper classrooms, clean tables and chairs, functioning computer lab … ), it’s a different story for rural areas. But exactly these kids do take their chance and move forward in their development. They gain confidence in themselves and this is what they need to make their life a better life. And this is why it’s so important to make this workshop not a once in a lifetime experience.
The personal development is not true for each and every child, but if 3-5 out of 30 make this step – what more can you achieve? And among our students there were a few children who made this step! I was very happy to see. They understood the idea of basic coding, how the commands from the computer control the ARDUINO machine and its attached motors, sensors … even though they never used a computer before and weren’t capable of using the trackpads right … but it worked!

So I decided that will be back at the government school on Nov. 18 with a mobile skateboard ramp and we’ll practice skateboarding while we are talking with the girls about “Girl’s Issues”. I’ll do this together with Steve’s team from the freemotion indoor skatepark in Delhi.

What else did I learn ?

Frankly speaking I didn’t realize how important it is to get the team ready for a rural environment where nothing is working and the will to make it functioning hardly exists. Where the culture is completely different and where the kids who are not used to even the lowest standards in schools. As a result of this the students “tick” differently – their understanding of authority, time, interaction, discussion is different and it turned out to be rather challenging for people who never worked with small children before. I simply underestimated this.

I saw once again that it’s not the result (= outcome of objects) that matters but the process achieving them. It’s resilience over strength, learning over education, emergence over authorities, practice over theory and disobedience over compliance that really matter in such a process.

It’s been a great experience – as always – there have been ups and downs – but for me the most important thing is – we’ve got at least a few kids thinking!

I am looking forward what Sandy and Peter will make out of it at their university environment.

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And here are the links to the previous days (including the texts in Hindi):

Reality check – ARDUINO in rural India
Day 1 – The humple start
Day 2 – Create and program
Day 3 – Holiday
Day 4 – Handicraft – machinery

Here you find further informations and blogposts in German.

And here are some great pictures by Peter Kabel.

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