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InnoKido is a traveling STEAM education program in Turkey which uses digital technologies for refugee children and especially girls.

Photo of Memet Unsal
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What problem does your innovation solve?

500.000 children in the refugee community in Turkey are estimated to be out of formal and informal education systems. InnoKido, as a mobile platform, will provide informal STEAM education to refugee children wherever they are. The program will also accept disadvantaged Turkish children to help with integration through mixed workshops. InnoKido aims to focus on the needs of girls and to improve their access to technology and science education with tailored workshops including coding trainings.

Explain your innovation.

InnoKido is a traveling program aiming to help children discover science and technology, acquire 21st century skills and play in an environment of creativity and collaboration. InnoKido’s mobility provides flexibility and access to children in remote areas.
Since 2015, our team has been traveling in Turkey with 3 shipping containers for another project named InnoCampus, an entrepreneurship and prototyping program for the youth. We organized 8 programs in 5 cities so far. The mobile program has been very effective in reaching the youth in remote areas. We also organized a refugee entrepreneurship program in Gaziantep where teams from the refugee and local communities trained together to bring their business ideas to life.
InnoCampus continues to travel throughout Turkey to cities with large refugee populations as part of the refugee entrepreneurship program. InnoCampus containers with its FabLab is a suitable hub for the InnoKido team to fabricate the components needed for the children’s trainings.
What we need is a mini truck carrying the educational kits for the children. InnoKido team will set out from the containers every day to visit schools and community centers where they will carry out trainings for refugee and local disadvantaged children. The education of girls and the integration of refugee and local children through mixed trainings are two priorities for InnoKido.
Our train-the-trainers program aims to create a network of teachers we work closely with.

Who benefits?

InnoKido aims to offer its educational content and method for both refugee and local children of age 6 to 12 in Turkey.
In Turkey, 90% of Syrian refugees live outside the camps and have limited access to education. InnoKido will provide informal STEAM education to refugee children who otherwise have no or limited access to education.
InnoKido will reach out to refugee girls with a customized approach and tailored workshops taking into consideration the low enrollment rate of girls. Another target group will be the socio-economically disadvantaged and marginalized children regardless of their refugee status.
Each workshop aims to reach an average of 25 children of which at least 60% will be girls in order to support their education with tailored events like “Girls Coding Hackathon”, “Girls Technology Career Days” and “Digital Literacy Trainings”.

How is your innovation unique?

Travelling from city to city we reach children with no access to to proper education and digital technologies. Our educational content uses technology and gamification as a tool to teach STEAM education which we have been testing in workshops. We will organize train-the-trainers sessions where we will share the details of these workshops and donate kits so that local trainers can continue working with the children in their community. InnoKido also has some experience in the field with mixed groups of refugee and local children.
Our advantage is we already have a mobile fablab and an established parallel program with a team which will travel to the same cities and will support InnoKido.
There are very limited STEAM education programs for refugee children currently available. What sets InnoKido apart is that it has the potential to create a network across the country thanks to its mobile nature and also to help with integration of the refugee community.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

For the train-the-trainers sessions, we need teachers who already have some background in teaching STEAM education. It is not easy to find the right candidates.

We organized mixed workshops with local and refugee children in the past with the help of the municipality. We will need the help of local authorities for mixed workshops as local and refugee children do not always come together, be it a school or a temporary education center.

The project needs to be financially sustainable in the long run. For this, we are also considering offering trainings professionally to those who can afford them and thereby create income to fund InnoKido to remain nonprofit and reach those who do not have access to this kind of STEAM education.

Tell us more about you.

InnoKido is a nonprofit project by Innomate which is a social enterprise. We also have an NGO based in Istanbul. InnoCampus is another project developed by Innomate which is a collaborative nonprofit project providing an innovation and entrepreneurship experience to youth. It is being funded by sponsors and is free-of-charge to the participants.
The team consists of 6 full-time members with expertise on children education, technology, and entrepreneurship.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Prolonged displacement

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

We have identified refugee children outside of the camps in Turkey as our target group. 3 main reasons are:
1. In Turkey, 90% of the refugees live outside the camps and mostly in urban areas.
2. School enrollment rate outside of camps is only 25% whereas it’s 90%in the camps.
3. Working within the camps is very difficult due to strict government control.

InnoKido can be rolled out as a model in the future to other countries with children who do not have access to an education system.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

InnoKido will travel to cities where the refugee population is high. The cities of Sanliurfa and Hatay are to be our first 2 stops. The official number of Syrian refugees in Sanliurfa and Hatay are 420,532 and 384,024 respectively. The highest number of temporary education centers are also located in Hatay, so most of the refugee children (approximately 52.000) are registered to temporary education centers.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

For the past two years, we cooperated with municipalities and universities in the cities we went to with InnoCampus project: Adana, Izmir, Canakkale, Istanbul and Gaziantep. We also collaborated with maker spaces, science centers, K12 schools, Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of National Education, and International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM has been the main sponsor of InnoCampus project for the last 6 months.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

Our team organized technology trainings to 294 children aged 6 to 12 in Canakkale, Istanbul and Gaziantep. In Gaziantep, we designed and implemented workshops for 213 refugee children. The workshops in Gaziantep were organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Gaziantep and Gaziantep Provincial Directorate of National Education. These workshops were carried out with both local and refugee children. We are used to being mobile and on the field in different parts of Turkey.

Innovation Maturity

  • Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered for-profit company (including social enterprises).

Organization Location

InnoKido is a project by Innomate founded in Istanbul, Turkey. We travel to cities in Turkey with high refugee populations.


How has your Idea changed based on feedback?

We prepared a survey to collect feedback on social integration, potential problems, areas of improvement, how to support formal education and getting long-lasting impact. As a result of the feedback, we decided to use more games, drawing and drama to overcome language barriers at the beginning of workshops. Also, we are considering exhibiting the results of workshops to create more awareness in the community. The rest of our learnings are provided in the visuals above.

Who will implement this Idea?

The team will have a project coordinator and three trainers consisting of a science communicator, a designer/engineer who is also a native Arabic speaker, and a pedagog. Currently, we already have the project coordinator and trainer/science communicator working on this project. We plan to recruit the rest of the team around October 2017. The InnoCampus team which will support this project logistically and content-wise has 6 full-time members: Program Director, Project Coordinator, Communications Manager, Fablab manager, Fablab expert, and Finance Manager. Everyone is located in Turkey.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

(1) The biggest challenge for refugee children based on the feedback we received is language. Many refugee children hesitate to go public schools because of the language barrier. If they do, they may feel alienated due to the lack of communication.

(2) Given the huge number of refugee children at school age in Turkey, the investment in the educational infrastructure will not provide fast results and some of the children are not getting a proper formal education. There are not sufficient teachers who speak both Arabic and Turkish.

How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?

Innomate is an established company in Turkey and works as a social enterprise. Its first project InnoCampus is nonprofit. Innomate funds InnoCampus' operations with the help of project partners, volunteers, and its for-profit business. Our approach with InnoKido will be very similar. InnoKido will eventually be a social enterprise with workshops, content, and physical products whose customers will be private schools and affluent parents. The revenue generated this way will help finance the nonprofit operations targeting refugee and local disadvantaged children.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact that you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question/hurdle you need to address to get there?

We aim to provide STEAM education directly and through teachers in our train-the-trainer program to 100,000 children (min. 60,000 girls) in Turkey who have no/limited formal education, support the social integration of refugee children, and build a model to integrate practical, hands-on STEAM content into the current formal education system.

We need to work closely with educational authorities and convince them of the viability of our work to not get slowed down by bureaucratic obstacles.

How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) outcomes for this project?

We currently use surveys with children to measure the effectiveness of our workshops and with teachers to see how our content supports formal education. We will organize competitions to see how mixed teams with local and refugee children work together. We plan to launch an online platform to share content, continue our communication with teachers and follow how they implement their learning in their classrooms.

What is the timeline for your project Idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?

The first year is the pilot phase during which time we will visit 3 cities to organize workshops for children and carry out our train-the-trainers sessions. The online platform will also be launched during this first year. The second year of the program, we will expand our team, increase the number of our STEAM vehicles, and start providing workshops to private schools. The third year, we will open a STEAM hub in Istanbul and our professional services will fully finance our nonprofit workshops.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Between $100,000 and $500,000 USD

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed Idea live?

  • Between 5-10 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country that you intend to implement your Idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this Idea together?

  • Between 1 and 2 years

What do you need the most support with for your innovation?

  • Business Development / Partnerships Support
  • Understanding User and/or Community
  • Communications / Marketing / Graphic Design


Join the conversation:

Photo of Gal Ken

Untung perut ane buncit. Aman...

Photo of Dave Hughes

Hi Memet, this is a great idea! My name is David Hughes and I am the Project Director for the Bendigo Inventor Awards.
Now in our 7th year, the Bendigo Inventor awards have as our focus inventions that address needs in the Emergency Services and Disaster Management space, and we offer a AUD$10,000 prize for the winning entry. The Bendigo Inventor Awards has also created an environment for inventors to obtain support for their ideas by bringing together a coalition of partners with the knowledge, skills and networks to accelerate the progression of ideas from concept through to commercialisation. Major Program Partners include Engineers Australia who are providing technical feedback, KPMG who are offering advice on commercial viability and the path to commercialisation and Red Cross, who are providing their perspective on the relevance of many inventions to disaster relief efforts. Our judging panel also contains representatives from Emergency Management Victoria, who are able to provide similar feedback on the applicability of inventions to the emergency services.
I believe your idea would be a fantastic entry into the awards. Applying is easy and can be done through our website Simply select the category that your invention applies to – ‘Concept’ or ‘Product and Prototype’, and answer some questions about your invention. All judges are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so your idea is protected. Entries close 5pm Friday 29th September 2017 AEST.
I very much look forward to seeing your invention go on to great success, and hope we are able to assist you in enabling that to happen. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch on the phone number above, or via my email at
David Hughes
Project Director
Bendigo Inventor Awards

Photo of Selçuk Keser

We will always walk together! I and my entrepreneur which was graduated from InnoCampus ( do everything for you...

Photo of Memet Unsal

Thank you, Selçuk!

Photo of Ali Çetinkaya

We are ready to make contributions as a team of Sifigu.

Photo of Memet Unsal

Hi Ali, thank you! We'll get back to you from the phone number on your website.

Photo of Ezgi Gürsoy

I really like that idea! I'm willing to contribute this project from Ankara, if it's possible. I am studying at Middle East Technical University, Early Childhood Education department and interested in STEM Education and Entrepreneurship. I' ll wait for your response with hope :)

Photo of Memet Unsal

Dear Ezgi, thank you! I just got connected to you on LinkedIn. We can talk from there on how you can contribute to the project.

Photo of OpenIDEO

Hi Metet and Team!
We’re excited to share feedback and questions from our experts with you. We encourage you to think about this feedback as you continue to improve and refine your Idea. You are welcome to respond in the comments section and/or to incorporate feedback into the text of your Idea. Your idea and all associated comments will all be reviewed during the final review process.
Based on your knowledge and experience, is this a new approach or bold way of answering the challenge question?

One expert shared, “This project's approach combining a focus on STEAM education, prioritising girls and looking at means to integrate refugee and disadvantaged host country youth is a bold choice, particularly in the Turkish context. The use of mobile - physically - learning spaces in order to reach communities affected by access issues and a breadth of community members, as well as pairing with interventions aimed at older children is also particularly novel.”

“The project is creative and bold in two ways: 1. It is focusing on the urban population of refugees. 2. Integrating the workshops with other vulnerable groups and not necessarily only refugees. 3. It offers workshops and trains children in STEAM education rather than traditional education. It is a bold idea to address the issue of refugees in prolonged crises and living in urban settings.”
Is this idea human-centered?
Desirability: - The desirability of STEAM education globally is high, and thus specifically so for displaced or refugee children and youth. - The explicit noting of a desire to facilitate better social cohesion through mixed participation is also desirable for host communities and NGO's working in circumstance of conflict or protracted displacement Feasibility: - Having piloted a similar project and the use of the mobile classrooms (containers) the project seems entirely feasible, as does it proposed training and use of teachers to facilitate sessions. Viability - The primary limitation I consider is the operational context (Turkish Authorities) as a barrier to ongoing viability.

“There seems to be no evidence of consultations with community on developing the concept or the content. However, the model seems to be focusing on informal education, which teaches practical and important skills that could drive up innovation, entrepreneurship and community development. Something that is desperately needed. However, the workshops should not be considered a replacement for traditional education but rather an addition to it.”

Expert’s thoughts on your business model:
No mention is made about the funding strategy. Would like to learn more.
Final thoughts and questions:
1) Address the question of the challenge more directly and provide examples how these workshops complement and assist with education outcomes.
2) Explain how integration of refugees and other vulnerable children has worked thus far? have the results been positive for community relationships or not?
3) proposal claims that the project can be implemented in armed conflict but has no demonstrated solution for protection of educators or participants. Could you please elaborate on that?
In case you missed it, check out this Storytelling Toolkit for inspiration for crafting strong and compelling stories: Storytelling is an incredibly useful tool to articulate an idea and make it come to life for those reading it. Don’t forget - August 6 at 11:59PM PST is your last day to make changes to your idea on the OpenIDEO platform.

Have questions? Email us at
Looking forward to reading more and thank you for the important work you are doing!

Photo of Memet Unsal

Hello OpenIDEO team!

Thank you for sharing the feedback and the questions of the expert with us. I will answer the questions here and we've incorporated some of the feedback in our contribution as well.

We've been working closely both with the refugee community and those who carry out educational work with refugee children to develop this program. We've incorporated their feedback in how we've improved our contribution. The program is indeed considered informal education and is not meant to replace formal education.

On the business model - InnoKido will eventually be a social enterprise with workshops, content, and physical products whose customers will be private schools and affluent parents. The revenue generated this way will help finance the nonprofit operations targeting refugee and local disadvantaged children.

Final thoughts and questions:
1) Address the question of the challenge more directly and provide examples how these workshops complement and assist with education outcomes.

Our workshops are not intended to replace formal education. Children can attend InnoKido workshops after class at school. Many educational institutions in emergency situation have limited resources in terms of equipment, materials and teachers. InnoKido will support them by providing informal education content and workshops in their neighborhood. Also, currently not every refugee child has access to formal education. InnoKido aims to fill in this gap and support these children as well.

2) Explain how integration of refugees and other vulnerable children has worked thus far? have the results been positive for community relationships or not?

We organized two workshops in Gaziantep where local and refugee children took part together. At the end of both workshops all children shared their own project and commented on each others’ projects. At the beginning of the workshops, children preferred to talk with their friends in their mother tongue rather than engage with the other group. However, during the workshop as they shared their stories with each other, they started to interact more. The communication was possible thanks to their teacher translating in the other language and some of the Syrian children were able to understand and talk Turkish. After a while, there was communication between all the children and they played together while waiting for school bus.This experience taught us that sharing their own stories helped them overcome their differences and the communication problems. We have not organized enough workshops yet to measure the effect on community relations.

3) proposal claims that the project can be implemented in armed conflict but has no demonstrated solution for protection of educators or participants. Could you please elaborate on that?

This project is not intended for locations with armed conflict. We had meant we will reach beneficiaries who have run away from armed conflict and sought refuge in Turkey. We have now corrected this in the contribution so that the primary emergency setting is prolonged displacement.

Photo of Christel

How long is the program? Do you provide any incentives for someone to participate? Does this provide any educational credits?

Photo of Memet Unsal

Dear Christel,
The program is 1 year long. During this time, we plan to visit 3 cities in Turkey which have high refugee populations. In each city, our team will visit schools and groups where the children do not have access to this kind of STEAM education.

This is considered informal education, so it will complement formal education besides supporting children who do not have access to any formal education. This would have to be a program by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to be able to provide any educational credits. So at this stage, providing educational credits does not look realistic.

We work closely with the provincial directorates of national education (part of the MoE) in each city we go to. They are usually enthusiastic about allowing schools with children from disadvantaged neighborhoods to take part in these kinds of STEAM education workshops. For the pilot workshops we have organized in the past, we did not have any difficulty finding enough children both from the host and refugee communities. Schools and community centers were very willing to cooperate. We also donate some of the kits the children make in the workshops to them. This provides an additional incentive.