HacKIDemia brings hacking, kids and academia into a global community empowering the future generation of Research & Development.
By Bobi Rakova & Stefania Druga (Co-Founders, HacKIDemia)

How do you fire up kids about science and technology when the world is full of distractions? When everything is fighting for their attention, how can we make sure that we can give our kids the best starting point and inspire them to explore and go beyond what we think is possible?

We started HacKIDemia because we believe that we can answer these questions. HacKIDemia brings hacking, kids and academia together in a global community empowering the future generation of Research & Development.

A mobile invention lab, HacKIDemia includes:

  • Hand-on workshops in STEM education with the focus on exploring how creativity and play can solve problems in a fun and interactive wiki of making.
  • Provide access to STEM education for girls, minorities and kids with disabilities.
  • Introducing new technologies and getting kids to use them right away

City by city, HacKIDemia wishes to revive the making spirit and create local innovation spaces for people of all ages while inspiring children, students and parents and provide them access to new technologies and science.

HacKIDemia is full of wizards and magicians!

Stefania Druga is the inventions wizard. She started the project after leaving Google to spend four months with kids in Cambodia. In July this year, she created the first one day HacKIDemia event in Paris. The team grew exponentially with both future ideas and excitement this Summer during the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program backed by NASA and Google. Libby Flack is the best storytelling wizard ever. She is an interactive media design expert based in San Francisco. Brent Dixon is a designer, educator, and musician engaged in international youth activism projects. Bogdana Rakova is the tools wizard and part of the Open Hardware community. She has much experience with electronics and computer science.

This is only the core team and Hackidemia wouldn’t be possible without the help of the wonderful international HacKIDemia volunteers that are trained to mentor workshops, help in the organization, and come and play and learn with the kids and their parents. We are very happy for the support from Dan Barry (a NASA Astronaut), Julian Gorodsky (D-school Founder), Karl R. C. Wendt (Khan Academy) and so many other amazing people!

Just last weekend we did a great Hackidemia event in the CROS Learning House in Bucharest. More than 30 kids joined the event and participated in 8 different workshops: space exploration with smartphones, robotics, microelectronics, stop-motion animation, interactive book making, recycling and art and many more. Learn more about the activities and the experience in our wiki of making.

Here is the video from the Microelectronics workshop in Bucharest.

This month, HacKIDemia will go to the Open World Forum in Paris (October 13) and Berlin (October 20). We will also install a permanent lab in Sao Paolo (October 26 – November 30) and in Lagos, Nigeria (November 1-7) where we will attend also the Maker Fair.

If you want to organise a HacKIDemia in your local community, please fill in this form and if you want to be updated about our projects and inventions, subscribe to the newsletter.

Women 2.0 readers: Who wants to get involved in HacKIDemia?

About the guest blogger: Bobi Rakova is co-founder of HacKIDemia. She is passionate about technology and innovation and has a big crush on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She has a background in Computer Science and is an active contributor to the DIY community. She is working on Agilart, a prototyping platform that allows people with no technical backround to program microcontrollers. Bobi believes that anything is possible and there is no limit to the possibilities of today’s technologies.
About the guest blogger: Stefania Druga is co-founder of HacKIDemia. She is currently doing a PhD in the Interdisciplinary Research Center, Paris Descartes. She was also the Education Teaching fellow at Singularity University 2012 where she advised and coached 80 students from 36 countries. She is also a former Googler and has a lot experience in web search infrastructure and international open education programs. She already created a Fablab in Paris – and one in Cambodia.