In the midst of Industry 4.0, technology has seamlessly integrated into every facet of our lives, reshaping our world at a rapid pace. Buzzwords like AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), Cloud computing, AR (Augmented Reality), and VR (Virtual Reality) dominate conversations.
The job landscape has undergone a tectonic shift, with roles that were unheard of in the early 2000s now in high demand.
This digital transformation has created an urgent need for “future-ready” skills in the upcoming workforce. Surprisingly, while technology takes center stage, the most sought-after skills for the future are not those associated with these cutting-edge technologies, but rather, skills such as innovation, critical thinking, and creativity.
Developing technology innovation skills is paramount to preparing the next generation for an ever-evolving industry.
Problem & Solution
In today’s tech-dominated world, there’s a growing concern regarding the adverse impact of technology on children. Parents worldwide worry about issues like mobile phone addiction, excessive computer gaming, and technology dependency.
Numerous studies have illuminated the psychological issues stemming from technology overuse, with children aged 8-18 spending a staggering 6-9 hours a day on screens. This is where STEM education emerges as an innovative solution to enhance children’s innovation and creativity skills.
STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and STEAM when incorporating the Arts, is being adopted by educational systems in approximately 96 countries worldwide. STEM education introduces hands-on, experiential learning to teach these subjects effectively.
Combining STEM education with technology innovation is a focal point in many nations to nurture the future-ready skills of the next generation. Areas such as coding, robotics, AI, IoT, and electronics are being actively promoted among children.
Why Magicbit for STEM Innovations?
In 2019, against this backdrop, Magicbit was born. It was founded by Anuruddha Tennakoon, Migara Amithdhana, and Akalanka De Silva, three preprofessional engineers with over a decade of industry experience, who shared a passion for making technology innovation accessible to everyone.
Magicbit’s core mission is to create the next generation of problem solvers and change-makers.
Products and Services
Magicbit’s flagship product is the hexagonal-shaped Magicbit development board, which can be programmed to foster innovation in coding, robotics, IoT, and electronics. The product includes a hardware kit bundled with software and lessons, offering three main versions: Learner, Explorer, and Master.
Each kit differs in hardware features, with the Master kit said to have the most extensive range of activities and additional plug-and-play sensor modules compared to the Explorer kit.
Magicbit’s comprehensive lesson series, accessible via subscription, covers each of these areas with step-by-step guidance.
Unique Value Proposition
Magicbit products stand out with their plug-and-play modules and pre-loaded code, allowing users to see examples even before coding. This eliminates the need for soldering, wires, and breadboards, making innovation more accessible.
The feature-rich hardware provides versatility for various projects. Magicbit supports different coding options, from Scratch for young learners using block programming to Arduino and Python for beginners and seasoned innovators.
The platform even extends to the .NET Nano framework and magicblocks.io, a cloud-based IoT platform developed by the team. This versatility caters to learners of all levels and simplifies the teaching process for educational institutions.
Magicbit made its debut as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter, astonishingly getting funded within the first 4 hours and garnering a massive global response.
As of 2023, Magicbit boasts a user community spread across 40 countries worldwide, validating its universal appeal and functionality.
The platform is also accredited by STEM.org in the USA as a certified STEM education product. In 2022, Magicbit was recognized as the best startup in Sri Lanka, earning a national award.
Education is continually evolving in tandem with technology, and Magicbit remains committed to integrating the best technologies into its innovation ecosystem. Plans are underway to integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the platform.
The Magicbit team is also developing a Python-based robotics farm that can be remotely accessed from anywhere in the world, marking another stride toward accessibility and convenience.
Founder’s View and the Path Forward
As a founder, I am, driven by the desire to empower the next generation, not just as a social entrepreneur but also as a father of two.
I believe in passing on the best knowledge to the next generation, addressing the accessibility gap that hampers technology adoption for a significant portion of the world’s population, including 1.3 billion children worldwide.
Given the pressing global issues of climate change, poverty, economic disparities, pollution, and energy crises, innovation is the key to survival while safeguarding the planet.
I believe that empowering future change-makers to find solutions to these real-world problems is crucial. This path, I envision, will lead to more effective solutions to achieve sustainability development goals (SDGs).
Hailing from a developing country like Sri Lanka and creating world-class products has been a challenging journey.
However, I firmly believe that this story can serve as an inspiration to all children and young entrepreneurs, demonstrating that we live in an era of limitless possibilities in our global village.
Innovation is the way forward, and the world needs smart farmers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and more. It’s time for a paradigm shift in the traditional education system, embracing a modern, innovative approach.
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