2017 Session Description

Maker Families
Building together on space, science and technology

For all ages • 60 minutes
Category: Strategies
Thursday 1:30pm • Centennial 10
Time and location subject to change (what isn’t?)

Check out some of the Space Projects we’ve created using household objects, microprocessors, and programming (and which have won Awards at the NASA Space Apps and Maker Fests, including the 2017 Canadian Space Agency Award). These projects can be carried out at home or school to bring practical, do it yourself knowledge about Space and Astronomy to educators, mentors and parents.

The focus is on education and outreach, and on raising the Next Generation of creators and makers in the Space Arena rather than passive consumers of technology.

The Skinny: 3 things you will get from this session

  • How to raise children as creators of technology — not just consumers
  • Discover that anyone can be a creator – using simple, inexpensive concepts and tools
  • Have super fun by integrating making, coding, and a dash of imagination
Vikas Nath
Toronto, ON

Vikas has worked with the United Nations in New York, Geneva and Delhi on environment and development issues. His previous position was Special Advisor to the South Centre (a Geneva based Intergovernmental organisation), and has provided advice and technical assistance to over 55 developing countries.

He left the United Nations to start his maker-family enterprise ”HotPopRobot.com“ with his kids to bring discussions on Space, Science and Technology in our everyday conversation. It encourages families and kids to make and create things, including robots, rovers and space projects, so that we can advance our knowledge about the universe and get excited about space exploration. It does several outreach events each year through maker festivals, libraries, hackathons, school fairs and community events.

HotPopRobot.com was started in 2014 after winning the NASA Space Apps Toronto and being among the top 5 in the NASA SpaceApp Global People Choice Award. Since then their family projects have won several awards.

Most recently, its project “Yes I Can” that uses data from the Canadian Satellite RadarSat-2 won the Canadian Space Agency Award in 2017 while its “Drop the Drought” project which uses satellite data to predict droughts and migration patterns won the NASA Space Apps Toronto 2017.

Vikas holds a Masters degree in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics, UK.

This is Vikas’s first year presenting at Mindcamp.

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