MakerFaire #codingrockstars – ideas come to life!

Expression through the arts has long being advocated by Sir Ken Robinson. Focusing on the arts at our Family MakerFaire opened a doorway to programming and coding providing learners with new ways to experience the world and discover previously unimaginable processes for creating. Learning to code creates endless possibilities for learners to express themselves and make their ideas visible.


To launch Europe Code Week
Swiss International School educators with a passion for the arts, technology and creative coding came together to form #codingrockstars. Over a spiced pumpkin latte (redefined coffee experience #SAMR) ideas were hatched for a collaborative event to mark the beginning of the second edition of Europe Code Week, a European Commission, Digital Agenda initiative to introduce people to coding.
“It’s about those of you who are already helping these dreams come true.
Actually, it’s about all of us. Our future. Technology is shaping our lives, but we’re letting a minority decide what and how we use it for. We can do better than just sharing and liking stuff. We can bring our crazy ideas to life, build things that will bring joy to others.
It’s never been easier to make your own app, build your own robot, or invent flying cars, why not! It’s not an easy journey, but it’s a journey full of creative challenges, a supportive community, and tons of fun. Are you ready to accept the challenge and become a maker?”
Meeting on Twitter a number of months ago, these 140 character exchanges began a journey of collaboration leading to our big event- Family MakerFaire hosted by GEMS World Academy Etoy International School.

Ideas grow from the original Starbucks Sketchnote

To Flat Scratch Cat coming to life and the #codingrockstars team creating a rich mix of project ideas.

Swiss Scratch Cat Green

Our Family MakerFaire was a resounding success. We had over 120 participants, girls and boys, young and old, from 5 International School. Families and educators experienced a rich array of technologies alongside developer and artists.

Having the creative arts at the forefront of our thinking gave our enthusiastic learners opportunities to experience what is possible to build with code and to develop projects , bringing ideas to life.


Here’s some of the cool Scratch projects that were built during our two hour event.

From NerfDudechocoboco500 & thecowdude

Thank to @ChezVivian for curating this list of all the cool tech we had on offer:

Makey Makey is a way for the computer to interface with the physical world.  Students can write code in Scratch to take advantage of the extra fun this provides.  It was developed out of MIT.

Thymio Robots  These come from Switzerland!

Leap Motion sensor Learners could to create music just by waving their hands.  The software that made the music was Muse  

We-Do Robotics This interfaces Lego Blocks with the computer to make Lego Creations that move. Scratch software is able to run the We-Do but there is alsonative softwarefor the kit 

Daniel Zea, designer and musician featured his installation, “Anotomical DJ”, where the children could move on stage whilst visualising internal organs! This used Kinect from Xbox. If you want to get into the coding side of Kinect, you will have to download the software driver for the Kinect so that Scratch software

Raspberry Pi  This is the little computer the size of a credit card. We used it today to build Scratch Projects.

Sonic Pi Audible Computing: A free sound synthesiser for live coding.

Robot Turtles Boardgame from ThinkFun, many children hung around this table and opted to play on a board game instead of on the technology. This game is geared more towards preschoolers to Y2 children.  It was a kickstarter project that took off.

Hopscotch App:   This is free.  App for iPad to learn how to code (see below)

Beebots: These are programmable bumble bees. Add a marker pen and masking tape you can programme them to draw!

Our CodingRockstars Tinker, Inquire, Experience, Discover, Create, Build, Make, Play, Share, ask Questions, Remix, Learn, Reflect, Collaborate and have Fun.

This is the #codingrockstars team @ChezVivian@jennysfen@TechPRICHA@turnthepagekate@richardallaway@megangraff Thank you for bringing this event to life and putting Switzerland on the Europe Code Week Map.

Here’s @ChezVivian ‘s Storify capturing the journey of an idea!

2 thoughts on “MakerFaire #codingrockstars – ideas come to life!

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Mark! It was an inspiring day. All my students said they thought the event was TOO SHORT. 🙂 We’ll have to make a longer one for next year. 😉

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