One day ten years ago, Stephane Come’s six year son old asked him if they could make a robot. Having an electronics background, Stephane built a flashing LED and showed it to his son who was blown away by what his father had built. When Stephane saw that, he realized that he could take things beyond just working with his son and Stephane and his wife, Criss, organized a meet-up at Hacker Lab to teach electronics and robotics. That event ended up shattering their expectations drawing in 45 kids along with their parents, totaling 100 people.

The initial workshop turned into a series of workshops. But as those evolved they became unsustainable and the kids weren’t learning in the way that Stephane and Criss had envisioned. So, they brainstormed ideas of injecting comic books or comic characters within stories that the kids could follow to do the lesson plans themselves. That concept evolved into a console with electronics where the kids could plug in smart pods which would monitor what the kids were doing and learning. But in testing that, they kids ended up working individually rather than in groups. So, once again they pivoted, this time to a series of story-based monthly adventures that teaches kids electronics and JavaScript coding by building their first simple circuits to WiFi enabled devices and the Internet of Things, all in comic book format, on a mythical island called PodPi.

I visited Stephane and Criss in their workshop to learn more about this origin story, more details about their product, PodPi, as well as their own adventures in creating a sustainable edtech startup that makes learning technology fun for kids. Learn about their journey in entrepreneurship and STEM education in the video and podcast below.

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