Qisma Tech’s First Holiday Programme and what we learned

Qisma Tech’s First Holiday Programme and what we learned

By the end of 2020, let’s hope that mess of a year is behind us, we were patiently waiting for schools to re-open so that we can start testing our games and making sure that kids got the education they needed for a tech-based future. We decided on making a holiday programme because it seemed the easiest and quickest way to reach our demographic and test our assumptions. It was scary, to be quite frank, and we were quite unsure if kids wanted to even attend; or if they did, if they wanted to come back. We’re pleased to say that it was an absolute success. It taught us a lot about how far we’ve come as a business and how much work we still need to do.

We took this poster and went to as many schools as possible, hoping to get some attention for our programme

The first day of the programme was wonderful even though we only had one kid. Yes, we ran our first day of the holiday programme with only one kid. But we made sure to show him the enthusiasm and care as if we had a full house!

Every day after that we got more and more kids attending, and it brought so much joy into our hearts to see how responsive the kids were to our teaching. We felt a great deal of achievement when kids at such a young age started to understand concepts that wouldn’t have been taught in schools at their age.

Kids between ages 7 to 12 learning about circuitry
Kids between ages 7 to 12 learning about atoms and molecules

Our main learning point of this programme was that, regardless of their age, these kids could learn and develop their skills in electronics and programming and be able to pick it up faster than a high schooler, if done right. This is not to say that age is not a factor, it most definitely is, but the way of which we’re teaching these kids needs to change.

Our older kids working together to build circuits for AND, OR and NOT gates.
Our older kids trying to figure out what the output is using their knowledge of logic gates and the inputs we provided.

On average, our kids were aged 7 to 9 and this was the demographic that we wanted to test these games on the most. With a step-by-step guided process, a quick but steady additional information and difficulty and a dash of healthy competition, kids can learn anything. I mean, anything! From not knowing what algebra even means to knowing how to solve substitution of linear equations. From being absolutely bored and probably forced to go to a programme to being hyped and asking for more complex equations. If these kids and this programme taught us anything, it is that kiwi kids today need to be challenged more and that we shouldn’t be afraid or hesitant to teach them things that we may think is beyond their comprehension. Like us, you’ll be utterly surprised of what these kids can accomplish.

We want to thank the parents that took a chance on us and allowed us to work with some of the most incredible, respectful and entertaining children in the world!

We also want to thank The Atom of Victoria University of Wellington for allowing us to use their space!

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