Educator Spotlight: Scott Haluck of Hackaway SF

Mentoring youth in afterschool programs & hackathons

April 10, 2015

hackaway

Meet Scott Haluck, Engineering Teacher at St. Ignatius in San Francisco, CA and founder & CEO of Hackaway SF, an after-school mentorship program to teaches electronics hacking and programming skills to middle & high school students.

What is the name of your organization?
Hackaway SF is after-school sports for technology. Hackaway seeks to provide free opportunities for students from demographic groups that are currently under-represented in math/science achievement, engineering majors, technical fields, and the growing startup culture.
Tell us about your current teaching experience.

I have been a high school teacher for 10 years. The last 6 years, I have been teaching engineering to high school students. In 2014, I founded Hackaway to teach electronics and programming to middle school students.

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How did you discover littleBits? What drew you to our product/company?

I heard about littleBits from a number of places, probably Twitter or TED first. I love the simplicity, the great design principles, and the passion for education.

Which product did you use and what made you decide to choose this?

I actually went all out and bought everything at the end of 2014. So far I have used the Base Kit and Premium Kit to teach the basics of electronics before I get into Arduino programming.

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How are you using littleBits in your programs or space?

I have used them in two ways:
1) All-ages, family-friendly hackathons to get kids and parents excited about technology
2) Introductory activities for teaching kids about sensors and LEDs to ground them in the principles of electronics before moving onto breadboards and Arduino

If you could challenge your students to make anything with any amount of littleBits, what would you have them create?

I would have them create a “Room of the Future” with automatic lighting, alarms, and music — a room that would blow your mind. It would use a lot of the Synth Kits, cloudBits and Smart Home Kit.

 

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What advice can you offer teachers who are new to littleBits?

I understand that it is a big financial hurdle, but they are reusable, incredibly fun, and a great place to start teaching about electricity and electronics. If you have the spare money in your budget, they are a worthwhile investment.

 

Thanks Scott for sharing your story. If you’d like to submit your own Educator Spotlight, we’d love to hear from you!