In Singapore, the popular Labs on Wheels program, where students learn to make wearables and use makerspace tools, is expanding.
We’ve seen virtual teaching and solar-powered laptops using technology to reach remote and underserved students. Now, learning about technology has gotten even easier and more fun, with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore’s (IDA) Labs on Wheels bus project. The buses are fully equipped technology development labs that travel to schools to teach programming and coding via games and activities.
The project begun with one retrofitted vehicle with activities for primary school students — which included programming a robot and coding a game — and proved so successful that the IDA expanded it to four buses. Working with leading global IT and electronics companies to increase the program’s offerings, two buses are now equipped with advanced maker tech that include 3D printers, laser cutters, drone programming and sensors for wearables. The secondary school buses also include state-of-the-art data analysis tools, robotics projects and virtual reality games and tools. One bus is fully accessible and includes assistive technologies, and all are being used in communities to teach basic computer literacy skills.
Could the mobile thinking behind tech labs on wheels be adapted to help large communities of displaced people?