Sarah O’Rourke shares her experience of Tech Day: “Making a Difference with Design & TinkerCad”

By on 8-21-2015 in News

Sarah O’Rourke, Senior Product Marketing Manager for the Consumer and 3D Printing at Autodesk, has shared her experience of teaching children on Tech Day:

“It’s Sarah again, coming to you from South Africa. I wanted to share the power that Tinkercad had over the children of Kayamandi Township in South Africa today.

If you have been following my journey over the last week, you know I have been part of a team of Autodesk employees that have been working locally to train teachers about bringing maker-based learning into the classroom. The team wanted to make sure that we were maximizing our time and worked with the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust to host a four-hour session about Tinkercad, Tinkerplay, 123D Cirucits, Circuit Scribe and more!

Our goal was to give these learners a taste of excitement about the possibility of careers they could explore, get them hands on with Tinkercad and see where they took it from there.

But one special student stands out. During our first week at Makupula, we had a very curious learner stop by. Likhona Vandaba was interested in knowing what we were doing. John Helfen, Project Ignite Community Manager, started talking to him and Likhona was hooked. His eyes lit up, he wanted John to show him more and by the end of the conversation Likhona said he now wanted to be a car designer. The next few days during breaks he continued to stop by.

It was exciting to see him at this event. One of the first to arrived and the last to leave. The first session he attended was the overview of how to get started in Tinkercad. It did not take him long to start getting the hang of the editor, figure out the copy and tinker function and start asking John for more advanced tips. Then the next stop for him was getting hands on with the 123D Circuits and Circuit Scribe table.

Also at that table was Nicolas, a Stellenbosch University student volunteering his time from Engineers without Boarders. These two, from various upbringings, sat down and were focused on building the most advanced circuit they could with the components. They worked together side-by-side for more than an hour. They pulled Tinkerplay parts to add on top of the motor to add some flair to make it visually spin. During this trip I have learned so much about the cultural and politics that are still fresh in this country. I was so thrilled to see two people coming together to make something.”

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