In 2016 a group of community volunteers decided to teach programming using SCRATCH and robotics based on the LEGO® Mindstorm, at the Islamic Center of New Mexico (ICNM), Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Over 25 children enrolled in the initial program which took place over a period of 4 months. The culmination of this program was the Robo-Olympics, which was won by team RED PHOENIX 101. The Robo-Olympics was not just about teaching robotics, it also focused building core skills related to team work and friendly competition. The winner of the behavior award for the Robo-Olympics was Safa.
2016 Students and Instructors
In the fall of 2016 the programming syllabus was incorporated into the ICNM Sunday school and two teams of six were created from the initial intake of children to compete in the FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) competition. The two teams, Sabretooth Cyborgs and Pandamonium, competed in the New Mexico qualifier and state competition. The teams won numerous awards and were invited to compete in the Mountain State Invitational in West Virginia in July 2017.
In the spring of 2017 a second robotics course was run over 14 weeks at ICNM, nearly 25 students attended the course which culminated with the second Robo-Olympics event. The 2017 winners were team PURPLE and the behavior award was given to Dima.
2017 Students, Mentors and Instructors
IbnSina Mindcrafters was lucky to have an organization like ICNM which provided support in many ways. ICNM not only provided a venue but purchased four LEGO® EV3 robots and 10 laptops for the robotics program. ICNM bought the robots before IbnSina Mindcrafters started, for another robotics initiative that did not preserver. It is very hard for organizations to make an investment of thousands of dollars to setup a program without any guarantee that it will endure
In the summer of 2017, the group of volunteers decided to use their experience and teaching material to set up similar programs for other groups in the south western states of the USA (New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California). The volunteers were from the Muslim community of Albuquerque, the initial focus was to expand to other Islamic institutes and other organizations within the Albuquerque area.
In January 2018 IbnSina Mindcrafters ran its curriculum concurrently at ICNM, the Boys and Girls Club of Central New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico) and at the North Austin Muslim Community Centre (Austin, Texas). The two Albuquerque based organizations competed in the third Robo-Olympics. The winners of this event were team Gizmos and Gadgets and the behaviour award was given to Rubina. In September 2018 IbnSina Mindcrafters ran its curriculum at the Hindu Temple Society of New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico) and at the Albuquerque Children’s Science Museum, iExplora.
In the summer of 2018, one of the founding members returned to the UK and the founders decided that the future of IbnSina Mindcrafters was to consolidate in the USA and expand in the UK. In August 2018, IbnSina Mindcrafters was registered as a Community Interest Company operating in England and Wales. IbnSina Mindcrafters aims to support organizations in setting up robotics programs by providing material support and guidance. IbnSina Mindcrafters wants to provide the opportunity for all children to experience robotics