ThinkHigher is for scientifically or technologically curious kids and teens. They do a lot of robotics and engineering, but they also do astronomy, optics and lasers, and molecular gastronomy. They make things, invent things, unmake things and hack things. They go on field trips, participate in tournaments. . .and they have a TARDIS.
ThinkHigher is a thinking club which aims to make students pilots of their education instead of passengers. We mostly work in science, tech, engineering and robotics. But as the year goes on, each class is led more and more by the curiosity of our students.
Students will be interviewed. There are several classes/week but class-size is limited.
Past subjects have included: video production and graphic design, all different levels of programming (obviously), astronomy, clusters of distributed networks and different topologies, steam power industry optimization in sawmills, nuclear reactions, Minecraft hacks (so the laws of physics were different for solids and for liquids – water poured up after that…) biology, Darwin, and (believe it or not) art history.
We have a great HackerSpace and a really great Robotics Lab (probably the best in Israel) and we believe in making things.
Some things we’ve made in the past: hydraulic robot arms, water fountains that work on air pressure, Hoberman Spheres made of LEGO, robots that sort LEGOs by colour (both from instructions, and our own designs). We’ve made one app that gets you to the closest miklat within a 90-second run, and another app which improves Dyslexic people’s ability to read at a rate of 60%. (It was incorporated in Chrome by Google.) We made a Millenium Falcon UAV with a pump action shotgun that shoots marshmallows. We’ve made jellybeans and have eaten them from our own TARDIS candy machine – which we also made. (For the record, we are never making Jellybeans again.)
Sometimes we compete in tournaments. Most students will participate in FLL this year, will learn a lot and have an amazing time in the process. We are less concerned with winning than we are with feeling we accomplished something valuable. (Though, win-or-lose, few other teams have had their inventions bought by Google.)
ThinkHigher includes field trips. They are not mandatory, but they’re pretty great and students will want to earn your permission to go.
Past field trips have included: Intel, Google, the Logistics Centre of Osem (sounds boring but it’s amazing.) (Except, that everything smells like chumus.) A Kaisen-method printer assembly plant of HP, the (very NON-Kaisen) production line at Comverse, an air force base, Facebook, a mushroom farm, the biotech lab at Hebrew University, Teva, and others.
There will be several camping trips. Sometimes we cycle together. There are movie nights about every month. And BBQs. And astronomy nights sometimes… on the North Tower…