An IoT (Internet of Things) Workshop at Horizon Lanka by Coderdojo Sri Lanka

An IoT (Internet of Things) Workshop at Horizon Lanka by Coderdojo Sri Lanka

Prabhath Mannapperuma

A workshop on IoT (Internet of Things) for the staff and students of Horizon Academies was held at Horizon Academy, Anuradhapura by Coderdojo Sri Lanka on February 24, 2018. Mr. Prabhath Mannapperuma, the Founder/Secretary of Micro:bit SLUG coordinated the workshop and Mr. Shameera Prajapriya, Mr. Yasintha Perera and Mr. Dilupa Jayanatha Peiris joined Mr. Mannapperuma to hold the workshop.

The workshop was meant for the staff of the 5 Horizon Academies, ie. Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya, Horizon Academy – Tantirimale, Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura, Horizon Academy – Ranpathvila and Horizon Academy –Ralapanawa. Since the students also were very enthusiastic, they also joined the workshop.

The workshop covered a vast area of IoT (Internet of Things) related areas such as micro:bit based programming, Arduino, etc. and basic HTML.

Coderdojo Sri Lanka is part of the Coderjojo global initiative and does its activities on volunteer basis. The initiative helps encourage students from a very young age to coding and programming.

“CoderDojo Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan network of “CoderDojo” – an international open source social education movement oriented around the running of fun, free and social coding clubs (Dojos) for young people aged 7-17 (Ninjas).

Dojos are run by coordinators (Champions) at businesses, schools, libraries, universities, councils and community centres. Dojos provide fun, free and social open learning environments where young people can meet others with similar interests, develop 21st century skills and build creative projects of their own choice using digital technology.

A Dojo is NOT a class or workshop. There is no curriculum. Instead, Dojos offer open, free and unstructured club settings in which young people can follow their own interests, meet like-minded people and develop self-directed learning habits with the support of Champions and Mentors.” – from CoderDojo Sri Lanka website.

The Horizon Lanka Foundation thanks CoderDojo Sri Lanka for partnering with the Foundation and the Foundation hopes to go a long journey with CoderDojo Sri Lanka by educating the future generation through the Foundation’s network of Horizon Academies.

Coderdojo Sri Lanka team teaching
Coderdojo Sri Lanka team teaching
Students at Coderdojo Sri Lanka workshop
Students at Coderdojo Sri Lanka workshop
Mr. Prabhath Mannapperuma introducing the program
Mr. Prabhath Mannapperuma introducing the program
Mr. Dilupa Jayanatha Peiris doing a lesson
Mr. Dilupa Jayanatha Peiris doing a lesson
Mr. Shameera Prajapriya doing the lesson on HTML
Mr. Shameera Prajapriya doing the lesson on HTML
The staff and the students of Horizon Academy, Anuradhapura
The staff and the students of Horizon Academy, Anuradhapura
Coderdojo Sri Lanka team during a break
Coderdojo Sri Lanka team during a break
Coderdojo Sri Lanka team with the staff and the students of Horizon Lanka
Coderdojo Sri Lanka team with the staff and the students of Horizon Lanka

Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa Opened on December 01, 2017

Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation addressing the children and the parents in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama

Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation addressing the children and the parents in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama

Horizon Lanka Foundation started its fifth Horizon Academy branch, this time in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama on December 01, 2017. At Horizon Academy we teach 5 languages, i.e., English, Spanish, German, French and Japanese depending on the availability of foreign volunteers who speak those languages. We also teach ICT, IoT and Robotics as our main subjects. In addition to these subjects, we also teach Fine Arts and Sports to break the monotony of the students. We also pay our attention to personal development also.

Those who wish to join please call Ms. Nadeeka Kumarasingha (an intern) at nadeeka@horizonlanka.org or on 071-8705428 or Mr. Rohana Kumarasingha (Manager) at rohana@horizonlanka.org or 0713902542. The Address is Horizon Academy, Farm Junction, Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Sri Lanka.

We charge only 500 LKR (3.25 USD) per month for all these subjects. We have both local and foreign teachers to teach these subjects at the Academy. Students will be rewarded with stationary, school supplies, computer related equipment, etc. after evaluating their performances.

The parents of the students will be given free English and ICT training on Sundays from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon.

So, please help us. You can either contact me through mobile phone on 0094 7777 02678 or 0094 7185 08537 or at nanda@horizonlanka.org or nanda.wanninayaka@gmail.com if you need our bank details. Or you can simply donate with your credit card through our crowdfunding campaign at https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empowering-children-in-rural-sri-lanka.

We have two brand new laptop computers donated by Mr. Vidhura Ralapanawa of MAS Group, Sri Lanka. These are the only computer equipment we have. We need more equipment and services.

Nanda Wanninayaka, Founder, Horizon Lanka Foundation

Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka addressing the students and the parents
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka addressing the students and the parents
Miss Sepalika Piyadasa introducing computers to the students.
Miss Sepalika Piyadasa introducing computers to the students.

Horizon Lanka Foundation Launches Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa on December 01, 2017

Nadeeka Kumarasingha with a computer at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.

Nadeeka Kumarasingha with a computer at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.

Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF) starts its flagship academic institute, the fifth branch of Horizon Academy in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017. The HLF started its first Horizon Academy in Mahawilachchiya in August 01, 1998 (19 years ago) and the second on May 01, 2017 in Tantirimale (5 ½ months ago) and the third on September 01, 2017 in Anuradhapura City (1 ½ months ago) and the fourth in Ranpathvila on November 01, 2017 (15 days ago) and getting prepared to start its 5th branch in Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017.

Even though there is a big school and a number of small schools in Nochchiyagama, students’ English and ICT knowledge are much to be desired. We were looking for a good location to start a Horizon Academy close to Nochchiyagama. Then I remembered that a former bright student of mine, Nadeeka Sajeewani is settled in Ralapanawa with her family. So, I sent a message to them to come and meet me. Nadeeka was one of the brightest and most dynamic students Horizon Lanka Foundation can boast of. She was a creative dancer, a terrific singer, an avid graphic and web designer, an aggressive sportswoman and an excellent presenter. So, I thought why not use her to start the new Horizon Academy in Nochchiyagama? So, I proposed my idea to Nadeeka and her husband Rohana  and they were over the moon to hear it. We can recruit Nadeeka to teach English (and ICT, dancing, etc.)

I visited their house which is being built but there is ample space in her house and the garden to start the Academy. So, we had an extensive discussion and then decided to start the Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa, Nochchiyagama, Anuradhapura on December 01, 2017.

We are happy to say that already a regular Horizon Lanka donor, Ms. Vayomi Wijeratne has donated 21,000 LKR (136.71 USD) for Nadeeka to enroll for a Certificate Course in English at Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. We are looking for another donor to provide a similar training to another girl or boy to do the same course but she/he would mostly teach ICT. We need all our staff members to communicate in English fluently. Nadeeka’s husband, Rohana can be recruited as the manager of the Academy and these three positions would be sufficient for the Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa for the first year.

We keep getting qualified foreign volunteers to teach English and other languages and ICT in our academies and a couple from the United Kingdom has agreed to volunteer at the academy at Ralapanawa in December. We will get many more and we won’t have teacher shortages. By working with foreign volunteer teachers, the local staff also will improve their English and ICT knowledge faster.

Like in all our other Horizon Academies, the students and the youth in Nochchiyagama area will be able to learn English, Spanish, French, German and Japanese at Ralapanawa. They will also learn ICT, Robotics and IoT. In addition, they will do sports such as American football, rugby, soccer, cricket, volleyball and martial arts. To produce a balance student, we have also added aesthetic subject areas such as dancing, music, painting, etc. to break the monotony.

So, come and join us at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa. Ms. Georgina Williamson and Mr. Jess Williamson from the United Kingdom would be the first two foreign volunteer at the Academy.

So, we need your support for capital expenditure and recurrent costs at least for the first year. Our idea is to reach the breakeven stage within the first six months and then become sustainable within the first year. With the experiences of 19 years in the field of English and ICT supplementary education, I am sure we can achieve the goal we set up.

So, please help us. You an either contact me through mobile phone on 0094 7777 02678 or 0094 7185 08537 or nanda@horizonlanka.org or nanda.wanninayaka@gmail.com if you need our bank details. Or you can simply donate with your credit card through our crowdfunding campaign at https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/empowering-children-in-rural-sri-lanka. You can download our Annual Budget in Microsoft Excel here. HORIZON ACADEMY – RALAPANAWA – ANNUAL BUDGET You can sponsor any of the expenses in full or in portions. 

Please share this story with the students and the youth in the adjoining areas and tell them to join Horizon Academy at their earliest. The Academy starts officially on December 01, 2017 at 3.00 pm and the course fees for the first month (December) will be completely free and there will be a fee of 500 LKR per student from January for all the subjects mentioned above.

Contact Mr. Rohana Kumarasingha, the Manager of Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa at rohana@horizonlanka.org through email and on 071-3902542 on mobile or Ms. Nadeeka Kumarasingha, the English Teacher of the academy at nadeeka@horizonlanka.org and on 071-8705428.

So, see you at Horizon Academy – Ralapanawa on December 01, 2017 at 3.00 pm.

Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder and the Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation

Nadeeka's house and the spacious garden. Horizon Academy will be held here.
Nadeeka’s house and the spacious garden. Horizon Academy will be held here.
Nadeeka Kumarasingha - aspiring to be an English teacher.
Nadeeka Kumarasingha – aspiring to be an English teacher.
Nadeeka and Rohana with the kids.
Nadeeka and Rohana with the kids.
With my former student Nadeeka Kumarasingha and her kids.
With my former student Nadeeka Kumarasingha and her kids.