Have you heard about the Africa Makerspace Gathering?
It is a fact that human beings have potentials, but how could they reach them? They have talents and gifts, how could they discover them?
Creating opportunities for children and youths to leverage on their skills, knowledge and aptitude in creating real-time solutions, is one of the reasons Prikkle Academy is planting grassroots makerspace for people to maximize their potentials.
The 2-day programme of the Africa Makerspace Virtual Gathering 2020 was livestreamed at Prikkle Academy Makerspace Center (Afon, Kwara State) and at Innovation and Creativity Hub (Ibadan, Oyo State) on the 26th and 27th of November, 2020.
The team of this year’s gathering was The Role of Africa Makerspaces in Addressing Covid-19. This event created an experience of what it means for Africans to develop homegrown solutions that are relevant to the continent, through makerspaces.
Some of the conversations worth capturing include:
-Increasing female participation in Makerspaces: There are different reasons for female apathy of involving in makerspace programmes. Some of it is cultural beliefs and parent’s misconception about makerspaces.
The female attendees at Prikkle Academy Makerspace in Afon, came to realize that they are ought not to be limited by the cultural standards and that making, creating and solving problems is for all gender.
While having this discussion, one of the females suggested that she will be willing to start learning how to set up a bakery through the makerspace, as this has been one of her life goals.
-Standardization of products from Makerspaces: The participants at the Ibadan centre shared that it is crucial that makerspaces across the continent share with one another their designs, their solutions and challenges to scale up awareness about the importance of makerspaces.
Others hinted that makerspaces need to collaborate with the academic community to add to the body of knowledge and practice, helping students to turn theory into solutions and empower the workforce with the skills and technology they need to thrive in the ever-changing world.
As the attendees watched the different actions and products created by makerspaces across the continent to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, they started coming up with different ideas of the problems they can also solve with their skills and community assets, no matter the situation.
During the event, Mr Edem Samoh did a workshop on “Introduction to Biomaker using XOD. He illustrated how beginners can use Arduino to create products that are relevant to the health and other fields.
The participants at the Kwara State were also showed one of the projects that have been made at the makerspace using that same technology being shared by the facilitator. They were excited about seeing a smart dustbin opening by itself without being touched.
For many of the participants at our grassroots makerspace, it was the first time they experienced some watching a Zoom video call. They said the only platforms where they thought video calls can be made were through a WhatsApp and Facebook. However, the programme helped them to learn one more tool to connect and do remote collaboration.
Here’s one of the feedbacks from the participants at the Ibadan Center.
Thanks to the organizers of the Africa Makerspace Gathering 2020 – Ghana tech Lab and Kumasi Hive.
Prikkle Academy…inspiring community builders.
Written by Jamiu Balogun