“Take Your Time and Start to Tinker… or Even Solder!” – Success Story #42

Today DOIT pilots are already in a full swing in different European countries. This time, we want to share a story about a little girl, who hasn’t invented a serious or significant invention so far, but who have made great progress in overcoming her fears and hesitations in the makers’ world. By participating in DOIT’s workshop she made a big step in the development of her future entrepreneurial, creative and constructive skills.

The Future Monster Lab was a 5-day workshop taking place in October. The idea was to build a monster out of recycled, reused material to act as a container for the participants’ fears and doubts when thinking about the future and how we as humans are dealing with environmental issues. For some of the children, it was the first time to use various electronic devices and technological equipment.

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Among all the participants was a girl who overcame her fears and doubts related to new technologies & electronic devices and by tinkering and soldering created her own monster! Ada is a girl who participated at the Future Monster Lab Workshop together with two of her closest friends. Both her friends are rather outgoing and confident. In comparison to them, Ada is more of an introvert and quiet. The three of them worked together building the monster named Flüsch.

When they were planning their monster and writing down ideas it was obvious that the two friends took the lead and Ada tagged along.

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The Kanban-board was a great tool for the group to split up the tasks evenly amongst them. Each of them could work independently and at their own speed. The Kanban-board is divided into the three categories to do, doing, done. The group writes down everything that needs to be done on post-its. Step by step they take the post-it with what they are doing and put it in the doing column. When a task is finished it lands in the done column. The Kanban-board is great for gaining an overview over open tasks and for visualizing success.

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During this DOIT workshop, the participants could choose from a variety of materials and technologies. Some of them were more familiar with the materials and techniques and for some other kids, it was the first time soldering, programming or taking apart electronic devices. For their monster, they used several LEDs, a recycled LED panel, recycled buttons and a programmable LED strain. For installing the LEDs and buttons they had to solder. As a group, they got an introduction on how to use the soldering tools.

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All three of them were asked if they wanted to use the soldering iron. Both Ada’s friends were eager to try it. When they were about to solder the last of the three electronic components the teamer supporting the group specifically asked Ada if she wanted to give it a try. At first, she hesitated and said that she was afraid she would hurt herself. After reassuring her that she wouldn’t have to do it by herself and that we would work step by step she agreed to give it a try.

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The next day her mother said that this experience had such a great impact that Ada told the story at home. A little girl shared her feelings that first she was afraid and didn’t want to try it but, gradually she overcame her fear and that she enjoyed working on her future monster. This experience made her feel proud and confident of herself.

This story is a great example that everyone has to start from something. In the beginning, it might look frightening or hardly achievable, but sometimes all you need is support from others to overcome your fears and starting doing actual things!

By Christine Kolbe and Ilona Stuetz, medialepfade.org — Verein für Medienbildung e.V.

Please share and spread this story! It is published under an open license. If you cope and paste everything, including the license, we are fine with sharing and re-publishing, also translating it! Contact us, if you want to share your own story! (e-mail: info@doit-europe.net)

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