Our past and present actions embodies our philosophy: give access to curiosity-triggering and life-learning programs to pre-high school children regardless of their academic levels and economical means.
2nd Racecar Challenge
Together with Pierce – The American College of Greece, Mathisi announces the 2nd Panhellenic Robotics Competition Racecar Challenge for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Gymnasio and 1st Lykeio students in Greece (at the request of some schools, we reopened the program to 1st Gymnasio students, leaving it to their teachers/educators to assess its appropriateness for their younger students).
The competition, which will be hosted by Pierce – American College of Greece on April 29, 2023, is based on the race car program miniRACECAR designed and offered by the Beaver Works Summer Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
To participate in the competition, students must have first successfully completed at least the first 3 Labs of BWSI’s miniRACECAR course, which they will be able to attend online at no charge between September 2022 and April 2023. The miniRACECAR course is offered in English. Students will receive a certificate from BWSI evidencing their having completed the course, as will the educators who will have mentored them through the course. The course can be fully completed either while assembling the physical car if available, or, in the absence of the physical car, through BWSI’s miniRACECAR course software simulation.
Students and educators registering for miniRacecar will also have free access to BWSI Python Core course, an optional Python tutorial which students may want to complete first before starting miniRacecar, depending on their level in Python.
The competition’s objective is to provide students with an opportunity to work in teams, to acquire knowledge in a project-based manner, to strengthen their skills in programming, robotics and technology, regardless of prior experience or knowledge, and to develop skills such as problem solving, creativity and teamwork.
The team that will be distinguished in the Greek competition will qualify to represent Greece in the international competition that will be held at the Beaver Works Summer Institute in the summer 2023. The selected team that will participate in the international competition will have the additional opportunity to attend the last week of BWSI’s program immediately preceding the final challenge. Depending on the then prevailing pandemic conditions, BWSI’s invitation will be either for an on-campus participation in both the final challenge and the preceding week of BWSI’s summer program, or for a virtual participation, at BWSI’s discretion.
For more detailed information, please consult the dedicated Racecar Challenge site here. Registrations for this year are now closed.
1st Racecar Challenge
Together with Pierce – The American College of Greece and Junior Achievement Greece, Mathisi announced the Panhellenic Robotics Competition Racecar Challenge for Gymnasio students in Greece.
The competition, hosted by Pierce – American College of Greece on June 18, 2022, was based on the middle-school race car program miniRACECAR designed and offered by the Beaver Works Summer Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
To participate in the competition, students had first to successfully complete at least the first 3 Labs of BWSI’s miniRACECAR course, which they could attend online at no charge between January 2022 and June 2022. The miniRACECAR course was offered in English. Students who completed at least the first 3 Labs of miniRacecar by July 31, 2022 received a certificate from BWSI evidencing their having completed the course, as did the teachers who mentored them through the course. The course could be fully completed either while assembling the physical car if available, or, in the absence of the physical car, through BWSI’s miniRACECAR and course software simulation. The competition however was based on the physical car.
The program’s objective was to provide Gymnasio students with an opportunity to work in teams, to acquire knowledge in a project-based manner, to strengthen their skills in programming, robotics and technology, regardless of prior experience or knowledge, and to develop skills such as problem solving, creativity and teamwork.
The team that won the Greek competition Racecar Challenge represented Greece in the international competition that was held at the Beaver Works Summer Institute on August7, 2022. That team also virtually attended the last week of BWSI’s program immediately preceding the final challenge. (BWSI’s invitation was originally for an on-campus participation in both the final challenge and the preceding week of BWSI’s summer program. Owing to the continuing uncertainty created by the coronavirus, Beaver Works Summer Institute had announced in early 2022 that it would not host students on-campus for its 2022 summer programs.)
A total of 86 students representing 12 schools throughout Greece attended this program. Racecar Challenge received the approval of the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) in January 2022.
STEM Modules Development
Drawing on its resources and experience, and in collaboration with local educators, Mathisi is developing a subset of the modules it had offered in its STEM camp with the support of MIT JWEL.
- STEM Core,
- Linked to national curriculum,
Real world applications (within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals).
Each module follows a sequence of sessions which reflects the project-based and cross-disciplinary approach we have adopted throughout our work.
Each session is comprised of a combination of i) “hard knowledge” corresponding to specific content of the national curriculum, ii) hands-on activities where that knowledge is used or experimented, and iii) an assessment tool for the student and teacher to assess whether the knowledge of that session has been understood in the manner that allows the student to use it going forward.
Beyond Mathisi’s prototyping, the modules development includes reviewing, teacher play-testing and in-class testing in collaboration with teachers and educators.
Autonomous Racecar program in collaboration with Beaver Works Summer Institute – Pilot
For the first time in Europe, together with Pierce – The American College of Greece (“Pierce”) and the Moraitis School, Mathisi introduced the middle-school race car program miniRACECAR designed and offered by the Beaver Works Summer Institute from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. The pilot program aims to help students develop their knowledge and skills in programming, robotics and technology, linking theory to practice. Students from Gymnasium and 1st Lyceum receive instruction in the following subjects:
- Programming (Python)
- Computer Vision (OpenCV)
- Robotics (Racecar)
Both Pierce and the Moraitis School had the opportunity to have one team virtually participate in BWSI’s final project and competition week ending August 1, 2021. It was the first time that Greek students participated in that competition.
Mathisi STEM Camp @Moraitis School
An English-language day-camp developed in collaboration with the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) and taught by MIT student educators and Greek teachers.
The Mathisi STEM Camp took place in the summer 2019 and was hosted by the Moraitis School. During the camp, students were taught in “the MIT way”, with hands-on, immersive learning. They had the opportunity to advance their knowledge in the STEM areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and then use this knowledge to develop solutions to real problems. Students worked together to design and build innovative projects that they then shared with their communities and families. Both MIT educators and Greek educators facilitated the camp, using resources and materials developed by MIT and adapted for the STEM Camp in Greece. Members of Mathisi Initiative received support from J-WEL to design the camp and select local educators, who assisted in the delivery of the program. The Camp ran for two weeks, in the English language, and was attended by 60 students from 20 different schools.
The Camp’s first week was dedicated to learning a combination of the six science-based modules described in the boxes below and three skill-development activities (Scratch programming, electronics construction models and various tool training). The Camp’s second week was dedicated to prototyping and building a project on the basis of the knowledge and skills acquired or developed the first week. The last day of the camp, the students presented their project to their peers and family.
Wind Turbine Design & Design Thinking
This activity introduced students to the topic of harnessing the power of the wind for energy and investigates common problems associated with wind turbines, using basic concepts of physics and electrical engineering. In the module, students were acquainted to the methodology of Design Thinking, used the process to design a wind turbine around the needs of a community, and got to build a model in teams.
Internet of Things for Healthy Plants
Students learned about plant processes and used sensors to measure and evaluate plant health and growth and get to use a block-based programing language to remotely monitor and optimize their condition, fostering their understanding of the capabilities of Internet of Things, plant health and different forms of energy.
Exploring Aquatic Microbiome
Students learned foundational biology techniques to explore local Aquatic Microbiome in a hands-on, experimental, and creative manner. Through the use of microscopes, they identified different organisms present in the water and observe their development, investigating the connection between the organisms present in water and local ecology/life systems.
Waterkinesis: EEG-driven boats
Students used concepts of engineering and programing to program and calibrate an EEG-driven system using special headsets. They attempted to drive and control the motion of Lego WeDo motor-driven devices in pools of water in response to changes in human emotional states.
Food as Fuel
In this module, students got acquainted with concepts of chemistry and biology in order to explore the issue of food consumption in our everyday life. They investigated some essential questions about energy and food and experiment using calorie-measuring devices and physical activity.
The module focused on acidity and its effect on the ocean ecosystem, introducing the concept of acidity with solutions, ions, and concentrations. Students were given different household chemicals and drinks and were asked to make hypotheses as to the acidity of each solution before testing them and assess the consequences of the changing pH level on chemical and biological processes taking place in the ocean, such as carbon storage and calcification.