Congratulations on completing a Fire Tech camp 🤖📸👩💻🦄. Here are a few suggestions for how to reinforce your child’s learning, offscreen (mostly), and spend some quality time together over the holidays, to boot.
Explore Your Area For STEM Activities
In addition to having a look at other Fire Tech courses, it’s worth investigating local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) events. Some museums, such as the V&A (check out the Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition) and the Institute of Imagination, and schools run STEM exhibitions and activities. Fire Tech provides in-school services, so let us know if you would like us to work with your school and we will find out what’s possible. Certain events make for a great family day out. We particularly recommend visiting the London Science Museum, check out their current events where young people can explore the museum after dark.
Get a Kit
It’s the golden age of hardware kits and there’s something for every age. You may need to let your child take the lead and show you how it’s done! For the youngest kids, we love the Tech Will Save Us Sew & Glow kit, to learn about electricity while making a creative badge. Tweens will love the Mini-Mu glove – a simplified version of the MiMu created by Imogen Heap and favoured by Ariana Grande – making music with gestures. Teens can work with more open-ended platform kits – we love the Lilypad for wearables, and the Circuit Playground Express for getting to grips with sensors, outputs, and neopixels (because everyone loves neopixels) – without the breadboards. As a bonus, the Circuit Playground can be coded in Circuit Python, which brings those coding skills to life in a physical way.
Buy Books on STEM… and anything else!
We highly recommend looking out for good books on STEM, such as the Stem Quest series or How to Think Like a Coder Without Even Trying (by our own Jim Christian!), or for young girls there’s the fictional Detective Dot. It’s a good idea to read an eclectic range of literature too. Many of the world’s greatest inventors developed their ideas through reading fictional adventures. Elon Musk, for example, is a huge fan of science-fiction – perhaps that’s why he is so keen on going to Mars. Cory Doctorow has some great books like Little Brother, which use young hackers as the heros, and Snow Crash is another top teen hit in the coder’s fiction canon.
There’s more and more research showing that the most powerful users of tech skills are those who are also creative and curious. Reading broadly is one of the best ways to explore, dive deep, and stimulate the imagination. It’s a great way to start combining a love of problem-solving with a more general creative and curious approach to the world!
Play Games Together
For young children, playing games together is an excellent way to learn about rules, which is a big part of understanding technology’s underpinnings. Board games, for example, are an excellent way to learn about how different things relate to each other and how rules work. We love the classics, such as chess and Monopoly, but if you want something a bit more modern, there are plenty of new board games to choose from too – Beasts of Balance, which we mentioned in our Christmas gift guide, is a really fun Jenga-style game that comes to life with your phone or tablet.
As much as we love gaming together, we support setting time limits for solo video game play. Establishing healthy gaming patterns is a good way to ensure that children enjoy all the benefits of playing games without letting it interrupt their other pursuits, such as their homework or sports.
Finishing a Fire Tech camp or course is just the beginning. We hope you’ll put those new hard and soft skills to work and explore our other courses to try something different. We hope to see you our holiday camps, afterschool clubs, and weekend clubs soon. Happy holidays! ✨