“Ahhh, I don’t want to go to school….” – sounds familiar, right? Most of the children are always complaining about unbearable amount of homework and how school is boring. But how many of them have ever had an idea on how to make all this better?
Probably a lot, but most of these ideas just stay unrealized. Why? The main reason – they need an inspiration and example, which could encourage them. Happily, the world has change makers and one of them is Elvis Lepardinas – a young student who became a social innovator at the very young age.
Technical creativity and awareness of children education – what could be created with this combination? When Elvis was a young and curious boy, he started to create his own mini engineering projects: at the age of 12, he felt a passion for building mini Lego robots and all kinds of constructions. It could be said that this technical creativity was a really beginning of a young boy’s future innovations. Even more, this boy stands out from the crowd by his strong determination to improve the education system. As Elvis describes himself, he is one of the most active students at school, who propagates an idea of making changes and improving school education. His activities speak for itself: at the age of 15, he started to participate in projects motivating young students to improve education system, later he organized a workshop for students where they could express their creativity and adapt their theoretical knowledge by creating furniture which was given to their school and so on. Amazing how a one young boy can inspire others to act, right?
But the breakdown in his success story happened in a competition of young innovators “Maker Fest 2017”, organized by VGTU Creativity and Innovation Centre “LINKMENŲ FABRIKAS” which is a collaborative makerspace for media and technical creativity. In this competition, Elvis with his working partners has built and represented a prototype of their invention, called “Snap Board”. This device scans a board while teacher is taking notes so students can forget about taking theirs and only concentrates on the main subjects. The advantages of this invention are obvious: by using it, students can no longer worry about getting their notes on time and it really improves the quality of learning. As you can already guess, the “Snap board” was the best represented innovation in the contest and now this group of boys are working on further development of it. They are also creating an interactive platform, where students could share their snap-notes and discuss in order to help each other understand one or another subject.
And this is just a beginning. Elvis is now working together with VGTU “LinkMenų fabrikas” and organizing a hackathon “TechHero”, where children will compete with each other by solving an engineering problems and creating prototypes of their ideas. As Elvis says, the main reason of organizing this event is that most of hackathons is only for students and children also need to be provided with this kind of opportunity. Another reason – the lack of practical experience in education: it is very hard for children to create something without practical knowledge. And I am sure we can all agree on that. But what else do you need to create your own success story? “Just drive and believe” – as Elvis says.
written by Ieva Tilindyte, European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute
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- An interview with Elvis Lepardinas