Maker Party '16 - Session 1

We're are hosting a Maker Party (official hashtag: #makerpartyblr16 ) in Bangalore with kids of 5th and 6th grade.

We (Avant- Garde Mozilla Club) planned to host it as 2 sessions.
Session 1 - Computer Networking basics and understanding terms.
Session 2 - Teach them HTML. Build a website after drawing it on paper. Use X-Ray goggles to hack a news website.

Galaxy gave me this amazing opportunity and Shreyas helped me set things up.

Today, three of us (me, Subhrajyoti and Veeresh) hosted the first session ! Here's a little insight on how it went:

Planning pad: Google docs link

We started off with an ice- breaker session. As for kids, the most common delight is Software games. So, we asked them to talk to each other and get to know the kids who play the same games as them. The person to tell the names of the most kids with the common game, wins a swag. The kids found this very interesting.

Next, we sparked off a discussion by asking the kids, "What is Internet?" This was very fruitful and at the end I compiled all the statements by the kids and gave them a correct introduction to the term "Internet".

After they understood what it was, I moved on to explain the terms "Sender", "Receiver" and "Server". For this, I used a carton box which served as a server hosting the space to store a large game, to be sent by an email to a friend in another country. They understood the concept pretty well !

Next, it was the storytelling session by Subhrajyoti. He told them a story involving the characters from the famous cartoon series "Doraemon" ! It involved one of the characters (Nobita) wanting to send a message to another character (Suzuka). But, a negative character (Jian) was to stop the message from being sent and tried to see whats inside the message. We asked the kids to volunteer to enact this particular scene. They had fun and had a little chase sequence too ;) Using this we explained the terms, "Security" and "Encryption". They very much understood them very accurately.

The next activity was the most liked by the kids. (End with a bang, strategy ? ;) ) We explained the concept of packets in a network with a very interactive hands on activity. Veeresh started off by explaining them a little about it and he showed them this video. Further, we made a path using a marker on the tiles floor of the hall, including a number of hops, leading to various servers (kept as carton boxes). Here's a picture:

We then asked volunteers to act as packets and walk through the various paths over different hops. It was fun, and we counted the no. of hops by each packet (kids) who started at the same source and wanted to reach the same destination. It was certainly a different number which boosted our later discussion on congestion and traffic management in a network. It was a super hit :D They learnt so many new things !

The kids were a very lively bunch ready to grasp whatever comes their way. Veeresh continued with a brief discussion on IP addresses with reference to the contact numbers and the names saved against each number in the phonebook of the mobiles. It was an easy catch.

We then, gave them an assignment for the next session. After explain the correlation of a webpage with the web, we asked them to draw a plain drawing of their dream website and promised them to develop the best among those in the subsequent session !

We're all very excited for the next session. Can't wait !!

Oh ! Did I mention, I made a teaching kit for anyone who wishes to conduct a similar session with kids. Check it out here !

This is some feedback we got from the kids after the session !