Tobgay’s Gap Year Project
Having gained A level grades of Maths A, Physics B and Chemistry B Kinzang Tobgay recently returned to Bhutan for a gap year. Here he tells us about what he has been up to since arriving home.
Bhutan Fablab launched a program to distribute a new modular computer called Pi-top in the four districts of Bhutan, one of them happened to be my hometown, Gelephu. It’s a computer with infinite possibility, using python as its programming language. The youth centre which was tasked with training young people in this technology was desperately in need of trainers so I gladly volunteered to help.
The first two weeks were full of creativity and experimentation. Myself and a couple of other trainers sat down and explored this new technology. We explored various projects and communicated our creativity with one another. It was filled with “ahh” moments as we finally understood the mechanism behind the technology, but more importantly we built a talking robot with an ultrasonic radar. This was truly a platform for creativity as we experimented and came up with an ingenious combination of inventions.
The following two weeks brought a wave of enthusiastic students ranging from high school to primary school age. Each trainer was tasked with 4 or 5 students to train and teach. It posed a challenge as each student had a different temperament and needless to say aptitude to learn. It provided a space for honing ones communication skills as we shared our new found knowledge.
However, the highlight was taking part in the innovation challenge which was put forward by the Fablab. Each district were to put forward a detailed project plan that would bring positive difference to our nation using the Pi-top. As the other trainers could not commit themselves to this challenge, I formed a team with another trainer and stood up to take the challenge. Several weeks passed as we came up with a number of ideas which were then scrapped. On the third week, we had a eureka moment to reconfigure the parking system in Bhutan. We would establish waiter bots, and use smart street lamps, effectively making what we describe as Efficient and Inclusive Community (EIC).
We wish Tobgay all the best for the rest of his gap year. Tobgay will be applying for scholarships to continue his studies at university next year.