Yesterday we were visited by 60 kids brought here by “Basketball Power” social program.  “Basketball Power” is an initiative by the Kazickas Family Foundation, inspired by a similar program in Zimbabwe. It aims to engage children and youth living in social isolation by inviting them to weekly basketball lessons, and to teach them life skills through it.

We wanted to demonstrate the many activities and skills people bring to Technarium, and show the kids the wide range of possibilities, professions, hobbies, work models and experiences they can have in their lives.

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At the biolab, seplute and Dalius gave the kids a glimpse into how biochemists work. Our guests made experiments with glowing chemicals – they mixed luminol inside the server room, where it is the darkest! seplute taught them microscopy skills – they looked into dyed plant cells, their own skin microbiome samples and other stuff.

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Kristina and MN made a laser-lit projection of microorganisms living in a water drop – the project Gretė created at the Science Hack Day. These dark dots are bacteria, algae, plankton, looming large against the wall:

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Martyna and Vilius held a gypsum-casting workshop in the ceramics workshop, representing the arts and crafts we do at the hackerspace.

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The participants made themselves a cast pendant of whatever they wanted – most of them made copies of their fingers.

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We also gave them a detailed tour of the hackerspace, showing the various pieces of machinery in action. We showed the large manual vertical milling machine and the DIY CNC mill made by MN. Kids asked us to cut some coins with a guillotine we bought from an old printing house – that seemed to cheer them up a lot!  They also tasted Soylent, had an informal intro to 3D modelling with Kristina, some fun with the levitating cat and scavenged some electronics parts from our EMP-doomed box. We also gave a short talk about how we had started and how we operate in which we tried to encourage the kids to dare to create, to collaborate and be whatever they want in life (contrary to what people around them say sometimes).

Overall, that was a both demanding and inspiring afternoon. We only had the chance to meet the kids for a short time, but they probably taught us more than we were able to teach them.