Menu Close

Category: blog (page 1 of 6)

Our Experience of the Creative Computing Session

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

 

36We as high school students had a very little or no teaching experience and we never thought that we would be teaching a class.When we were first offered the opportunity to take a class about arduino (a computing platform) for teachers of various schools, we were really excited as it would be a new experience and we would learn a lot. We, without a doubt accepted the offer as why would we miss such a great chance? .But, we didn’t realize that it would be fun . As it was our first formal teaching experience, we were nervous. But it was not long that we really started to enjoy it. We also experienced organizing the workshop, and making everything ready for the class. We got to know how the workshops are prepared i.e we were involved in arranging all the materials needed to run the class, collecting information relating to the workshop, and going through the plan in detail.

Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Interconnected Embedded Systems – MIT’s Intro EECS Class at Karkhana

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

This blog post is written by Ashim Sitoula, a former Karkhana intern, who is currently studying at MIT.

Let’s face it – trying to make cool things using technology in Nepal can be a challenge, especially if you’re a high-school student or even a college student. Whether it’s building your first robot or learning to program a microcontroller, the odds are against your favor. Here are a few real-life scenarios:

  1. Circumstances out of your control come in the way of your awesome idea. Perhaps your school turns you down when you approach them for assistance; you are instead told to focus on your studies. You hear similar things back home as exams are soon approaching.
  2. If the situation is slightly better, you have everything set in place only to find out that the component you’re looking for is out of stock in the market; it’s only arriving the next month.
  3. In rare cases, everything’s worked out perfectly and you’re looking to raise the functionality of your project but you’re stuck without technical assistance.

Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Re-engineering perceptions — women in STEAM

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Img source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Rubin

Vera Rubin

As part of my engagement with Karkhana I have been exploring various threads of thought around technology, amateur contributions to science and technology  and the interplay between gender and STEAM. The passing of Vera Rubin, a critical astronomer of the last century, precipitated some connections between different strands of conversations I have been having here in Kathmandu with women in STEAM and Rubin’s own experience as a woman in science.

Irina, a research assistant at Karkhana, speaks about her years in engineering school with disdain. As she entered the final year and was introduced to hands-on and other practical usage of theories she had learned through the years, and she had finally begun to enjoy the course. Projects were her thing, she hadn’t fared particularly well with memorizing derivatives but she loved bringing theories to life by making. Her final project, a quadcopter, not only worked perfectly but also looked presentable. But instead of encouragement, her teachers raised doubts about whether she had done it herself. Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

My Journey at Karkhana

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

“The green gate, five blocks away from USEF.” This was the first instruction I received to find my way to Karkhana for a web page design workshop organized by #MakerKT. With full enthusiasm, I attended the workshop and made new friends. Karkhana had its own charisma, although I was not directly involved.

After participating in two #MakerKT workshops, Sachet dai, Chief Operating Officer at Karkhana, asked me if I wanted to volunteer for an event. Frustrated by the pressure of entrance exams, I  needed a break and the prospect of getting involved in an actual workplace seemed exciting. So, I agreed.

karkhana-12-11-2016-8185

The next day I went to Karkhana and met their team of tinkerers, makers and enthusiasts: some laughing at a viral Youtube video, some counting pencils in a pack, some cutting precise shapes on the laser cutter and some working on an upcoming event. As a shy newcomer who takes some time to open up, I met two interns- Sona and Sagun (who are my partners in crime now). And of the many things I’ve gained from Karkhana, I’ve learned the most by observing the two of them. Their encouragement has helped me become an independent leader.

fb_img_1478105027151

At the Innovation in Education Faire 2016

15397644_1352622501436498_684952041_o

Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Makers, hackers or slackers?

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

I sat down with Marc on the last day of K_space to chat about his work and ended up having a long conversation about the socio-political meaning of hacking, the direction in which the maker movement is headed, hacking as a teaching method and gender dynamics within the technical field. The interview, transcribed below, is a great explainer on what making and hacking looks like outside of the vacuum of  technical fields and instead embedded within society, politics and history.

Let’s start with your take on the hype behind the maker movement, what do you think about the notion that it’s instigating a third industrial revolution?
I was in Manchester in May/June where I had a meeting with a Chinese maker movement. Manchester was the pioneering place for the first industrial revolution but look at how Manchester has suffered from it; the first European slums were in Manchester, the poverty and misery in Manchester during the first industrial revolution even inspired people like Engels and Marx to study its aftermath. So it was ironic that I was in Manchester having a conversation about 3D printing in the midst of the maker culture hype that it is ushering in a third industrial revolution.
I come from a technophilic background but the more I pay attention to technology in social, cultural and educational contexts, the more my attention shifts towards how technology impacts society. The real challenges today have primarily come through technology–climate change and so on–which we now try to fix with technology. This is not the right approach because these problems come from the unstudied hype and anticipation regarding an industrial revolution. By focusing so much on technical solutions we neglect the political pressure and social study needed to solve problems. The search for technical solutions has reached exaggerated heights especially with space exploration, which is a problem by itself as the message that we’re giving in the way we do space exploration is that that we messed things up in this planet so now it’s time to find an alternate place to live. Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Getting Hands On (K_Space Day 2)

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

We broke out our “maker hats” and toolkits first thing this morning, and got our hands dirty with some cool technology workshops: Antenna Making and Arduino for Beginners. The rest of the day was also full of capacity building, with a little art-filled lunch break in between.

Antenna Making Workshop

With just $5 worth of materials, Karkhana’s Irina Sthapit taught us to make the classic Yadi-Uda antenna, best known today for its as a TV antenna.

Building these from scratch was literally a nuts and bolts affair, involving precise measuring, drilling, sawing, soldering, and coaxial cable stripping. Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

People Ready (K_Space Day 1)

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

The energy level was still high at the end of our first long day of the K_Space conference at the Karkhana premises today.

Twenty participants working across South and Southeast Asia have gathered to share our various skills and expertise, including educators, designers, social entrepreneurs, makers and the Karkhana team.

“Just to have the opportunity to work with such a diverse group is fascinating. You have a guy from Switzerland, a guy from England, a girl from Malaysia,” said Milan KC, principal of Gurukul school in the Pokhara valley. “I was very much struck by their way of thinking. It’s refreshing. You feel like you’re growing.” Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

From Just An Intern To More Than An Intern || Part 1

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

I

After the earthquake that shook Nepal in April 2015, I decided to give my CIE* in October instead of May. This meant that I had to take a gap year.

I spent the first half of my gap year preparing for exams, and the second half applying to colleges in the US. This was definitely not what I wanted my gap year to be like – unvaried!

Aditi* suggested that I should intern at Karkhana. She gave me the name and contact information of the CEO and advised me to wear jeans (for reasons I still don’t understand). I fixed a date and time with Pavitra, did some research and decided on the jeans I would wear that day.

Pavitra was different from what I expected; she was actually a he. He told me that I wasn’t the first one to mistake his name for a woman’s. Having an androgynous name myself, I found I had something in common with the CEO who would later come to be one of the most inspiring people I’ve met and one of my many good friends at Karkhana.

Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Energy Mela – As a guardian

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

We are taught subjects varying from the universe to something as small as a bacteria. We are taught large numbers, even as large as a Googolplex to a number as small as  1/a centillion. Out of all this information stored in our memory,  what percent of it have we learnt by doing? Very less. Although it has been proven that people learn better when they do things practically, Nepal’s education system fails to provide such opportunities of learning.

However, the gravity of such a problem is decreasing over time. With the establishment of education based companies like Karkhana which try to change a classroom to a lab, young learners have a better opportunity to acquire, reflect, use and finally create from the knowledge that they have gained. Karkhana host workshops which teach children to explore their own methods of learning.  Karkhana works with the aim to bring new approach to the experience of learning and teaching. Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

KTM Mini Maker Faire: An opportunity and a challenge

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

Kathmandu Mini Maker Faire is happening on September 24th / 25th, and I’m incredibly excited. I’m sad I won’t be there to see all the exciting things people have been doing, and how far the community has come since we started the Monsoon Collective back in 2012. From Karkhana’s Kid Zone to #MakerKT, RAN, and the likes, it promises to be a real testament to a new and young generation of Nepalis doing it themselves, innovating, and thinking hard about creativity and critical thinking.

Kathmandu Mini Maker Faire Website

As the maker community builds further in Nepal, though, I see a challenge (as well as an opportunity): how do we think about and integrate traditional forms of making into this new community and movement?

Many maker ketis have already been confronting this question: what qualifies as making? 3D printers and laser cutters: yes! Cooking? Hmm. Drilling and cutting with power tools: yes! Carpentry? Maybe. Bricklaying? Hmm. What about breaking stones? Read more

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest

© 2017 The Karkhana Blog. All rights reserved.

Theme by Anders Norén.