Smart Little Citizens: the city where kids are already programming at age 7

By Renato de Castro.

As a good Brazilian I am, I fully agree with those who say that Rio de Janeiro is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But let's face it: the list is long! In this global cast of wonderful cities, there is certainly a place at the top for the beautiful, ancient, traditional, mystical, immense and chaotic: Istanbul!

If you did your homework at school, you should still remember the eastern capital of the Roman Empire: the legendary Constantinople. It is the only city in the world with its territory sprinkled between two continents: Europe and Asia! It is clear: I'm in love with this city, can’t you see?

Today we will visit a fantastic project coordinated by Istanbul City Hall together with the (public, but for-profit) local company called ISBAK. This business model based in public companies that can sell solutions is becoming more popular, especially in Asia.

We visit the City Lab of the city called Zemin Istanbul, built inside a subway station, which follows the world-known "Silicon Valley" style of innovation hub. But the disruptive surprise was to discover a digital education project for children. It works something like this: students, starting from the age of 7, goes there along with the school class and instead of playing online or watching videos, they learn how to create their own cartoon animation ... at the age of 9 they are already programming and learning advanced robotics, and at 15 they are ready for the classes of Entrepreneurship. And it is a public service from the city hall, free of charge!

Did you like the idea? I invite you to learn more about it watching the 360º video I made visiting the facilities and chatting with Mr. Gokce Birgin, the project director.

I hope you like it and feel free to leave your comments below. See you in my next article from somewhere on the other side of (your) world!

Renato de Castro
Smart City Expert

Mobile: +39 393 874 0545 (WhatsApp)  

Skype: baumann.renato

* This article was originally published in Portuguese language for the blog Cidades Mais Inteligentes – UOL Tecnologia – Brasil

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