Award-winning science, tech & discovery learning experiences for young people
We offer programmes for children in Auckland with an aim to encourage young students to get excited by science and technology.
We look at new ways of learning and collaborating whilst using digital tools and applications to extend students’ knowledge.
About our School Programmes
Emerging technologies are rapidly transforming industries and disrupting economies both globally and at home in Aotearoa, but our education system moves much more slowly! This disconnect means that many young people may struggle to find relevant opportunities by the time they finish school.
The Ministry of Education is seeking to address this problem by integrating digital technologies into the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa by term 1 of 2020. We’re excited that New Zealand has finally made the move to ensure that students across the nation will become ‘digitally capable thinkers, producers and creators’. (Digital Technologies and the New Zealand Curriculum, pg 3).
We are welcoming this change with open arms. At The Mind Lab we have been teaching children contemporary skills at our custom-built labs since 2013, encouraging children from age 4 to 14 to become creative, active learners of technology and the digital world. We have taught over 100,000 students from hundreds of schools and have developed a huge range of exciting and engaging science, technology and discovery-based workshops.
Our unique approach to education allows students to take on relevant, real-world challenges in a collaborative and project-based environment.
Our Core Philosophy
Learning by doing
Learning through failure
Collaborating & sharing knowledge
Developing digital fluency
Every school holidays, we invite 7-12-year-olds into our Auckland lab to create, construct, test and prototype through a huge range of explorative workshops.
We cover a huge range of exciting STEAM-based topics including robotics, coding, 3D design, engineering and much more!
Bookings are open for the upcoming school holiday workshops.
School group sessions at The Mind Lab help students learn how to take advantage of the capabilities of technology, becoming creators – not just users – of digital technology.
Each workshop can be personalised to suit your school learning topics or our EdTech Educators can work with you to plan a bespoke session around a topic or theme of your choosing.
We think you and your students will find our workshops useful (and great fun!) as we move towards a more tech-enabled, connected future.
October School Holiday Workshop Descriptions
Monday 30th Sep – Coding & Animation
Coding: Have you ever had an idea for a game? But didn’ t know where to start. Is it your dream to build a game that becomes the next gaming phenomenon within the esports world? Then join us as we take students through the first stage of making a prototype game. In this lesson students explore the basics fundamentals of game play, game mechanics and the variety of different tools needed to create a game. The skills they gain from this class will help them better understand what it would take to be an independent game developer. No programming experience needed.
Animation: Reminisce with your children as they create animations based around some legendary arcade games that pathed the way for modern gaming. In this lesson students we ask students to use their knowledge of early gaming and create a story that entwines a few of these fantastic relics. We then teach them how to take their story and breath life into in with animation. The students will walk away with an understanding of how to create a digital story using tradition storytelling practices, but set in the digital realm. They will also learn how to use stop-motion software that they can continue to use once at home.
Tuesday 1st Oct – Internet of Things & 3D Design
Internet of things (IOT) is a word you will be hearing more of as time goes by. Chances are you already use IOT devices with in you daily lives. But where did it all start? What impact has it created with in our world? In this lesson students learn about one of the first off world missions that used a similar IOT device to transmit data back to earth. The students will be using a microcontroller device called a Micro bit, they will learn how to program the controller as they simulate a mission given to them, the challenge is to programme and communicate over a distance with other devices and relay as much data as they possibly can.
3D Design: Have you seen little green men running around? Or maybe they were grey, did they have two heads and a semi transparent body. Whatever the case, aliens have been a hot subject for years and people have been describing them in different ways. In this lesson we want to test your imaginations and see what type of alien you believe would live on a distant planet far from earth. With a few different scenarios given students will create the look of an alien based on their environment, what if their world was 100% underwater or if they had no light, then what would they look like. In this lesson students learn how to use an incredible pieces of 3d software that mimics the behaviour of clay.
Wednesday 2nd Oct – Coding & Web Design
Coding: Our world is made up of many different countries and believe it or not there are still many people that don’t know what country is what. If you ask people overseas where is New Zealand on a map, some people wouldn’t know where to point. We ask students to help us educate people by making it fun to learn, by Gamifing Geography. Create a game, based around learning what country is what and where. In this lesson they will learn how to create and code.
Web Design: Imagine living in a utopian world where everything is perfect. What would that look like? How would you make people aware of your amazing world you live in? We ask you, the student to create a website that helps promote your world, that shows those who are on the outside what it’s like living in this utopian world. In this lesson students learn how to create a website from scratch, learn what makes a site a good website and how to retain viewers
Thursday 3rd Oct – Science & Engineering & Film Making
Believe it or not
Science & Engineering: True or false, real or fake, there are many ways to say what is and what is not. But whatever word you like to use, there are scientists that are out their trying to disprove so many theories or as we like to call it “out there BUSTING MYTHS”. In this lesson we get students running a few experiments of their own to see if they can prove or disprove some mind lab myths. It’s going to be a fun day of challenges and we can’t wait to see what they discover.
Film Making: Just like that famous show, we get our students making a show of their own that helps educate the viewer in what is real and what is not. In this lesson students use the art of digital storytelling to create a show that looks at evidence and scientific results when it comes to busting myths. They learn how to film and edit their footage in such a way that it helps educate the viewer.
Friday 4th Oct – Robotics & Electronic Engineering
Robotics: Delivery robots, self driving cars, automated paperboys, these are just some of the things you could try and make if you come along and hang out with us during our tinker day at the Mind Lab. In this lesson we give the students the opportunity to explore the option of making something new with our various robotics parts. Use sensors to detect objects and program automated functions for your new robot. What tasks will your bot do?
Electronic Engineering: If you were given a motor, some wires and a few extra parts, what could you make? We give this and many more different challenges to our students on tinker day. Tinker day is a great way to get them thinking, get them making something out of nothing. In this lesson we give them a variety of different components and see where their imaginations take them. They can use whatever is available at the time and we will guide them down a path of invention and innovation. We will help them get their ideas from basic concept to a working prototype
Monday 7th Oct – Robotics & Graphic Design
The Art of Abstract
Robotics: We have all seen the robotic vacuum cleaner or the robot that serves food. But have you ever seen a robot create a masterpiece? Help us create the first robotic family with one goal in mind to make a beautiful piece of abstract art. In this lesson students learn how to code by programming a robot to follow a set list of commands to help create their masterpiece of robotic art. It’s the new artist revolution and we can’t wait to see what amazing images these new found artists come up with.
Graphic Design: We use computers everyday and they have become a big part of our lives. They can capture information, send data and entertain us, but one other thing they can do is allow us to explore our creativity, push the boundaries of our imagination. So come along and explore a world of digital art and let your imagination guide you. In this lesson students learn different creative brainstorming techniques that are used in many design practices. They will also learn how to use the many different designer software tools to help bring their creations to life.
Tuesday 8th Oct – Electronic Engineering & Animation
Time to Shape Up
Electronic Engineering: Fitness is important to us all, we all need exercise to help us maintain a healthy body and mind. With the aid of new digital devices retrieving information about our fitness level is becoming easier with each day. But have you ever wondered how those new digital devices are made? Wouldn’t you like to learn how to make one yourself? In this lesson students learn how to use and program different sensor to monitor and read the information that comes from our bodies as we exercise. They will then look at different ways to gamify the information to make it more fun to exercise.
Animation: How do you create a fun animated movie that gets people wanting to get out there and exercise? That’s the challenge we give the students with this fun animation lesson. Students need to research and incorporate storytelling practices to help create a story around exercise, then using computer animation tools, students will then bring their creations to life.
Wednesday 9th Oct – Coding & 3D Design
Magic / Fantasy
Coding: Writing a good fantasy game is no different from writing a good fantasy novel. There is a narrative and hopefully an engaging story that allows readers to become involved with the story, taking them on a journey of adventure. In this lesson students get the chance to start making a fantasy game, maybe there are wizards or warlocks, maybe it’s set on a far distant world. The students will learn how to create and code there game and have a starting point to take their new found passion of programming further.
3D Design: Fantasy movies and shows are becoming more popular each day. Creature concept designers are working over time to come up with that one new idea, a creature that looks nothing like anything people have seen before. In this lesson students get the chance to create a creature from their imaginations Using 3d design tools to help mould and shape their creatures. students will have fun expressing their creativity.
Thursday 10th Oct – Robotics & Science & Engineering
Robotics: Flying a plane might look easy but there are so many things you need to control at once, it’s not just about keeping your flight path steady, it’s about being able to navigate your way around the controls. In this lesson students get the chance to build a prototype flight controller that allows them to pilot a flight simulator game. Then with the aid of some kiwi ingenuity we get them working on a possible automated feature for their control system. They will learn how to create, control and code their simulators.
Science & Engineering: What is the best aerodynamic shape you can create, that has less drag, more lift and allows longer airtime? We try to ask these questions and more as students soar into the world of flight. In this lesson we get the students investigating flight, looking into what makes a plane stay in the air, what happens when they put a motor on their prototype, will their planes fly, or will they come crashing to the ground.
Friday 11th Oct – Coding & Film Making
Coding: There are some strange things happening at The Mind Lab, someone seems to be sabotaging our systems. We managed to find some clues left over from the last cyber attack, we need your cyber smarts to help crack the code and solve the mystery of who is attacking us. Students will find this a fun way of learning how to code, by decoding files. In this lesson we get students problem solving and using their critical thinking skills to help find the culprit of the attacks. The students leave with an understanding of how text and block based coding can be used to help solve a mystery. If you ever wanted to become a cyber crime fighter then today is your lucky day.
Film Making: Our fellow robotic companion has been hacked, and who ever did it has stolen his main CPU. Now rodger is nothing more than a large paper weight. With Roger out of commission we need to find out who did it. We need your help to document and put the pieces together, by doing this and showing others what has happened, we might be able to find the answers on who and why someone hacked rodger. In this lesson students go on a mysterious journey to help find clues to who hacked roger, they learn how to approach it from a journalistic point of view and gather material to broadcast the event.