Elementary school Dule Karaklajić from Lazarevac was one of 135 schools that were selected for the pilot phase of our programme, and math teacher from this school played a great role in introducing micro:bit to her students. Two students became very inspired by the power of micro:bit devices so they created a project that helps students with special needs both in school and at home, their project contributed to cutting rising water bills for their school and raised awareness of autism to the whole community.
The two of them first went to the school principal and asked him what problems their school was facing, and received the answer that these were high bills for water and heating. In addition to these problems, talking to the math teacher who has a child with learning difficulties, as well as having special classes in their school, they came up with another idea, and that is to try to find a way to help children with developmental problems. Students managed to design two projects with the help of the micro:bit, which reduced the water consumption in the school building, thus reducing costs. By using micro:bit devices, the girls were able to create an alarm system that would notify staff that a specific water tap had been left on for too long, this is particularly useful for their friends with special needs.
With this project, girls won the first place on Coding Challenge. After seeing the results, the girls decided to get in touch with parents of their friends with autism, in order to suggest some new ways in which they can also use micro:bits to help make their day-to day lives easier.
The students of this school contributed to the celebration of the World Autism Awareness Day by organizing a walk in which they wore “I exist” badges, blue T-shirts because blue is the symbol of children with autism, and at the end of the walk they organized an origami workshop at which they made different shapes out of blue paper, and they passed messages to passers-by with the wishes of people suffering from autism, and in that way they drew attention to autistic people. This is how one of the students who participated in the organization of the walk explains their action: “I think that this kind of action should be supported because we are a society that finds it difficult to accept differences, simply to show that they are just as important and that they are no different from us. Our goal is to bring people closer to autism, that people with autism simply are not less valuable”.
"We wanted our project to help not only fellow students, but also the school and our town as a whole."
– Nina, student