It’s always the unexpected ones that come out the strongest. How many times have we not heard teachers or parents say in our workshop: “I didn’t expect that from him. Normally he’s very difficult and can’t keep up with the rest of the group” or “Wow, I didn’t know she had that in her. Most of the time she’s in her own world and doesn’t speak up but now she’s leading the others and helping them out”.
The same happens every year in the workshops during ‘Gentse Feesten’. This popular city-festival attracts a very diverse audience, and so do our daily festival workshops. The participants come from various backgrounds, different genders, ages 6 to 12 years, first-timers and regulars, from quiet to very loud ones, … The task we give them is very simple. They each must make a drawing of their dream-robot. With the help of a coach, they then convert that drawing to a 3D-design and print it out with a 3D-printer. They learn how a 3D-drawing differs from a 2D-drawing, and how a 3D-printer works. What happens is that the regulars arrive with ready-made plans of what they are going to print. Not only do they come prepared, but they also take over the coach’s job and explain to the others the rules and guidelines of 3D-designing and 3D-printing. They even start working together and take control of their learning by brainstorming, working and discussing in groups, and collaborating on various designs. Sometimes as a coach, you must sit back, watch and learn from the children.