From First Workshops to Permanent GO-PRO Programming Centres

Monday, December 14, 2015 - 21:30

The aim of the project "GO GO GO-PRO! - Public Libraries as Regional Programming Centers” was simple: to visit libraries and show both children and adults that the library is a place to learn knew things in a fascinating way.  "GO GO GO-PRO! team taught children and young people programming - how to build their own robots and creating new algorithms. The project proved the need for these kind of library services - local authorities are interested in establishing permanent centres in their public libraries. 

"After chosing 50 libraries, we packed our GO-PRO! bus and started our adventure," recall the organisers.  First visits to the libraries took place during the summer holidays, so the number of children participating in workshops exceeded expectations. Older kids brought there little brothers and sisters, who struggled to follow our programme. At first it was difficult to work with such a big crowd, and with such a big age gap. The youngest were bored and caused trouble. So we decided to make small improvements: bringing in LEGO for the little ones, and offering an interesting online learning tool for children of all ages.  

"Then we went back into the field and it was a success!" says team member Vika Kropa.  All kids had something to work on: some were engineering and programming robots using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robotic kits, others were playing (and learning) Lightbot video game (lightbot.com), while the rest were busy building the track for the final robot race. The race itself was the most emotional part - there was a lot of screaming and cheering and crowds supporting participants. 

Even the adults (local stakeholders, parents, librarians) were moved and amazed by how quickly children learned the basics of programming, and how willing they were to continue to learn. Therefore, the organizers decided to encourage locals to invest and open permanent GO-PRO Programming Centers. They offered their help and expertise in applying for grants and donations, and in exchange asked local authorities to sign a letter of intent - a confirmation of willingness to work with libraries in creating innovative educational centers for children and youth.  

This is just the begining of a new era in libraries!

Please see the videos from the visits:

- Getting ready for programming workshop

- Building a robot

- Robot race at the library - ready, go!