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Tinkering with Tech – developing new learning experiences for children

13 Feb 2024

Helping students and teachers develop 21st century skills through physical computing in a major initiative powered by the UNICEF Global Learning Innovation Hub.


In a rapidly changing and digital world, the need to equip students with skills that help them thrive in school, life and work is even more pronounced. Development of 21st century, transferable skills are among the learning goals in many national curricula. However, innovative ways of developing these skills while children are learning the core subjects, e.g. mathematics, sciences are still missing in most schools.

Tinkering to transform

At the same time, research has shown the transformative impact of tinkering with tech through coding/robotics using experimental processes lead to a positive impact on student cognition and skill development, including among those with learning difficulties. This process can foster a dynamic classroom environment too ― turning the learning process into a dynamic interaction between students, highlighting each student’s unique abilities. Another priority in many countries is to increase interest of girls in STEM, which research shows that this can also help.

Alternative learning experiences for children and young people

In an effort powered by the UNICEF Global Learning Innovation Hub, in partnership with Arm and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, UNICEF Country Offices and their Government partners, the Micro:bit Educational Foundation will be working with UNICEF in several countries to roll out the “Tinkering with Tech” initiative. Students will develop essential 21st century skills by exploring making simple builds with BBC micro:bits. This will develop problem-solving skills, creativity, computational skills, collaboration and communication, as well as the digital literacy of students while learning mathematical and scientific concepts.

Overall, the initiative will aim to address critical needs in education in the countries by empowering teachers and school leaders to use a tinkering approach, so they feel supported to deliver the initiative in their environments. Through a playful and experimental educational approach, the initiative promises an engaging and enjoyable learning experience, particularly for young girls.

Supporting more young people around the world to develop digital skills is vitally important to their life chances, so we are excited to kick off this project to help inspire more children to create their best digital future.

Recruiting for a new role

To help us deliver this innovative project, we’re currently recruiting for a Global Programme Manager. Apply by 21 February to help deliver this exciting initiative.

Find out more and apply

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