Taking a new challenge implies some questions like, what if it does not work? How to start again? Where to find the sources needed to face the challenge? These are some of the questions that we have answered while thinking about our amazing project robotics in the Lego level. It provides students with the opportunity of developing their creativity and their abilities to solve problems in a fun and interactive way.
This year, Shoulder to Shoulder is again taking the challenge of supporting students in acquiring pieces of knowledge through the Lego project. Yet, getting these pieces has been a very difficult road. In the past two years, we have bought Lego kits in the USA, but it has been complete chaos looking for people willing to bring them to Honduras. Added to this, each person can bring only one kit to avoid getting stuck in customs and pay fees. For two years, this was the reality. No light could help us to see clarity through the dark tunnel.
The pressure was raised for us when we saw kids hungry for learning about Lego robotics. By now, each school had a team of between 25-30 students while the instructions say that the maximum number of students per kit is 2-4. It was clear that some students didn’t even have the chance to touch a piece much less build the robot. They just observed how their teammates got the chance to assemble the parts. It was a really sad situation not being able to provide the needed tools to enrich all student’s knowledge.One way or another we had to find a way to provide the kits to the students.
As a response to this hunger for technology, we started looking for some possible options on the ground.
We knew that it was too difficult due that it is not very common that schools participate in competences of this indole. Nevertheless, we hoped that there would be a way to find on the ground a provider of Lego kits. We started looking for online stores, cheaper ways of shipping equipment from the USA, educational stores, and even asking for help from the people in town.
There were different options for buying on the ground, but all of them raised the Lego kits prices fourfold. Even though we were willing to pay more money for them, we also had a budget and we did not want to overpass it. We knew that kids were waiting for a response from us on their request letters. Finally, after many calls and emails, we found a store that sold robotics equipment at double the price, but it was reasonable compared to our previous shipping process. The kits were bought in the capital, seven hours away from the little town Camasca; therefore, we had to find for someone willing to drive and picked them up.
We decided to buy one more Lego kit for each team, 4 in total. It was a great happiness to know we had solved the issue that was giving us nightmares. It was incredible that we now had in our hands the equipment needed for the kids to get new pieces of knowledge. The knowledge of coding, using computers, working in teams, and using strategies will equip them, not just to complete the challenge, but to be competent in life.
We are just using small pieces to build a big world!