Thinkspace is becoming the sort of facility that I used to think could only be found in Europe or the US. It’s a genuinely creative area offering novel technology-based programs of an extraordinary standard. Just take a look at their upcoming holiday workshops.
There’s programming with Scratch; there’s electronics (although I question their decision to design their own board instead of using an off-the-shelf item); there’s game design at several levels; there’s Minecraft. They offer most of these as general courses or with a girls-only alternative.
One course that particularly caught my eye is Game Coding, described as ” Learn how to create basic code in Python, running on the Raspberry Pi computer, and apply that knowledge to the Minecraft world.” Game, Python, Raspeberry Pi, Minecraft – talk about ticking the marketing boxes. But in addition to excellent marketing, that’s a genuinely interesting and challenging area and the sort of course you simply wont find elsewhere in Sydney.
I had a brief chat with Thinkspace about their approach. The line I loved was when they said “You don’t spend too much time in descriptions with 10-year-olds during the school holidays. You just get them doing stuff.” And that encapsulates Thinkspace’s core philosophy: learn-by-making. Giving kids the chance to learn by trying things out in a challenging but supportive environment is just fantastic.
I’m a big fan of Thinkspace and I live in hope they’ll expand their activities into later teenage and adult areas too – having them run a maker space would seem to be the best possible fit. I can only hope that the Powerhouse, whose vision has otherwise been sadly lacking over the last few years, realises both what it has on its hands today and the enormous potential to do more with it into the future.
Regardless of hopes for the future, today Thinkspace is going from strength to strength teaching young people about technology and is a wonderful asset for Sydney.
Check out their website for all the gory details on the holiday workshops.