Children in primary schools invent a Dream Machine.
University students plan design and features.
Technical or vocational secondary school students make a working prototype.
MyMachine is an educational program developing creative thinking in children and youth. Through the program inventive children and young people have a chance to find technical solutions for their original ideas and to bring their dream inventions into life. Its uniqueness lies in the cooperation of all three levels of the eduaction system – primary schools, vocational secondary schools and universities.
Children and young people learn to work in teams, communicate, present, perceive and respect each other’s talents, think critically and creatively approach problem solving. At MyMachine, we put emphasis on the technical directions of education — science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics — STE(A)M. These are all competences that are considered key to being applied in today’s global and ever-changing world.
MyMachine is an international program. It originated in Belgium and is currently being implemented in thirteen countries around the world, including South Africa, Slovenia, Portugal, and Norway. It has been covered by the Carpathian Foundation in Slovakia since 2016. Thanks to this program, we draw attention to the need to connect non-formal and formal education in Slovak schools.
1-2-3 = MyMachine step by step
The program runs for a whole school year and has three steps:
Idea: children in primary schools between the ages of 6 and 12 invent and present their dream inventions in the form of drawings. MyMachine emphasizes the importance and necessity of every single invention.
Concept: at this stage, the design of inventions is being developed by young people — students at technical universities and students of Product Design. Childrens’ drawings turn into functional concepts and the best designs are then processed into plans, schemes and models.
Prototype: in the last stage, technical drawings and elaborated solutions are handed over to students at technical secondary schools. Students will create real functional prototypes of inventions in collaboration with the children who invented them and the undergraduates who planned the design.
What can kids and young people learn thanks to MyMachine?
University students will gain an amazing practical experience that simulates their future employment (including budget and time constraints):
- They learn to listen to their customer, in this case a primary school children alebo pupils (by the way, a very demanding customer).
- They learn to use their own knowledge and creativity to transform the idea into a concept.
- They learn to consider the production possibilities of their partners, in this case participating secondary vocational schools: they need to know what kind of production machines these schools use or what complexity of production their students can handle.
We show students at secondary vocational schools what an indispensable role they have in the product design process and we allow them to gain practical experience in prototype production:
- They learn that in many cases they can help to improve the design from engineers.
- They learn how to communicate their designs to facilitate or improve production.
- They learn that their skills are important and significant contribution for turning the idea into reality as well as for creating added value.
- They gain practical experience from the production of an invention, develop the ability to find new solutions and overcome obstacles.
- We inspire them to continue their studies or careers in technical directions.
We show children from primary schools that the world they live in is capable of being shaped and adaptable. They learn that their ideas can actively contribute to companies, so they do not have to be just passive recipients:
- They learn that having ideas is important, and that inventing is fun and marvelous.
- They learn what it means to turn the idea into reality.
- They familiarize themselves with STE(A)M education and the importance of a proactive approach.
- They learn to respect each other’s talents and to cooperate in teams.
This is MyMachine
The Carpathian Foundation is a unique regional non-profit organization operating mainly in Eastern Slovakia – Košice and Prešov region.
Since its establishment in 1994, the Foundationn has been providing financial support, education and counselling for active people and non-profit organizations to improve life in Eastern Slovakia. Over the course of its existence, Carpathian Foundation has supported more than a thousand projects with a sum of almost EUR 2.5 million.
The Carpathian Foundation received an exclusive license to implement the MyMachine program in 2016. After the successful launch of the program in Eastern Slovakia, it was gradually extended to all regions of Slovakia.
More about the work of the Carpathian Foundation:
MyMachine Global is a network of independent, locally operating partners and at the same time a world organization spreading an extraordinary methodology through license into the different regions of the world. Nowadays, the program MyMachine is actively being implemented in 13 countries around the world. Find out more at www.mymachine-global.org