Meet Neven Boyanov and Ivaylo Nikolov. Neven is an entrepreneur, IT developer and IT professor at the Veliko Tarnovo University. He adores technology and has been dreaming of working in this field ever since he was a child and first heard the word “computer” on TV. Ivaylo Nikolov is an IT developer and tech project manager. Programming is his passion and way to help other people.
What is Tinusaur?
Tinusaur teaches kids how to write code, how to do maths, physics and electronics in a fun and practical way. Tinusaur’s team has developed special hardware and software, which allows kids to assemble their own mini-computer and then program it. They create something that works with their own hands in a matter of hours. This makes them feel enthusiastic and raises their interest in the subjects taught at school. Neven and Ivaylo have also drafted detailed instructions and training materials. Using them, every school or university teacher can easily teach using Tinusaur’s methodology.
Neven created the prototype of Tinusaur’s mini-computer seven years ago. Initially, it was just a hobby. However, as he tested the device and its software with other school teachers and university professors and with his fellow tech professionals, including Ivaylo, Neven saw the huge potential. With Tinusaur, teachers have a tool to show children the practical dimension of the theory they teach. Pupils feel enthusiastic about learning because they see how interesting and useful natural sciences are in reality.
How does Tinusaur work?
Each Tinusaur course starts with assembling a mini-computer. Kids get a set of PCBs and a programmer, which they arrange and solder on their own. Then comes the time to do some coding through simple tasks. Kids connect lights and buttons to the PCB via the special Blocktinu platform. On this platform, they can use blocks to build a program or write code. The more children progress, the more complicated systems they get to assemble and code.
Tinusaur’s courses are not part of the school curriculum. They don’t replace what children get to learn in schools, but are rather an addition giving a practical perspective to the knowledge gained in class. Tinusaur’s software, methodology and training materials are with a free license and can be used by everyone. The hardware is exceptionally easy to use. The team also organizes trainings for teachers, who would like to use the TInusaur methodology in their work.
Tinusaur has seen great success and is already used at universities, schools and homes across Bulgaria and abroad. However, Neven and Ivaylo don’t think that this is enough. Their dream is to see Tinusaur give all children in Bulgaria, including those living in the smallest settlements, a chance to develop a passion for nature sciences and programming. They want to make sure every child has access to technologies, which would help them have better professional lives in the future.