Meet Scott Haluck, Engineering Teacher at St. Ignatius in San Francisco, CA and founder & CEO of Hackaway SF, an after-school mentorship program to teaches electronics hacking and programming skills to middle & high school students.
I have been a high school teacher for 10 years. The last 6 years, I have been teaching engineering to high school students. In 2014, I founded Hackaway to teach electronics and programming to middle school students.
I heard about littleBits from a number of places, probably Twitter or TED first. I love the simplicity, the great design principles, and the passion for education.
I actually went all out and bought everything at the end of 2014. So far I have used the Base Kit and Premium Kit to teach the basics of electronics before I get into Arduino programming.
I have used them in two ways:
1) All-ages, family-friendly hackathons to get kids and parents excited about technology
2) Introductory activities for teaching kids about sensors and LEDs to ground them in the principles of electronics before moving onto breadboards and Arduino
I would have them create a “Room of the Future” with automatic lighting, alarms, and music — a room that would blow your mind. It would use a lot of the Synth Kits, cloudBits and Smart Home Kit.
I understand that it is a big financial hurdle, but they are reusable, incredibly fun, and a great place to start teaching about electricity and electronics. If you have the spare money in your budget, they are a worthwhile investment.
Thanks Scott for sharing your story. If you’d like to submit your own Educator Spotlight, we’d love to hear from you!