I am an SAP Mentor and a frequent visitor and speaker at SAP Inside Track Community Events.
The usual driver for me is the community aspect – I *love* meeting people with a similar mindset of sharing and growing through community, and by now there is a core group of people that continuously put in the time and the effort (Inside Track events usually happen at weekends and are *not* SAP events despite the name) to go to many of those events that are dear to my heart.
This one, however, was *very* different. It was the first of its kind to feature a seperate #sitKids track for children, and we were very happy to find that about 20 children between the age of 8 and 13 made it to the event.
While the adults went through the usual thousands of PowerPoint slides the kids occupied two rooms full of toys:
The lowest barrier to entry was Makey Makey, a device that turns fruit into sounds, if I understood the concept correctly.
There also were many sets of LittleBits to experience the basic principles of electronics (I still can’t get the buzzer noise out of my head…), and it was very interesting to see the range of possibilities to combine the building blocks into many interesting devices.
No programming required, this was one of the places where you could even see kids introducing adults to technology and adults genuinely puzzled.
Parrot Minidrones did not require a lot of programming, but they captured everyones creativity nonetheless and provided some welcome easy entertainment..
The Lego Mindstorms robot projects were way more advanced, luckily there were some real experts among the kids that were totally up to the task.
The mBot Arduino based robots could be programmed in a Scratch-like system and luckily managed to steal the death star plans, avoid Darth Vader and reach the escape pod in time.
A Food Truck provided much needed brain food, even though some sceptical voices could be heard around the charcoal veggie burgers… 😉
(Yes, that’s the real colour. No, they’re not burned.)
Hacking continued throughout the afternoon (do these kids never get tired?), and at the end of the day the kids presented their work and put all the adults in awe.
Of all of the Inside Tracks I’ve been to this was certainly the one with the least sessions visited by me, and also with the least amount of adult conversation.
It was also the only one where I could see kids with sparkles in their eyes, energy and creativity pouring over and and creating amazing things.
I like what I saw today.
The kids are alright.
All pictures I shot at the event (in color no less): https://goo.gl/photos/QoRhxWJ8vuoXBSfCA