Primary school teacher Bas introduces children to technology: ‘I want to help them become more independent and resilient’

Two 3D printers can be heard in the background. A colourful Lego table holds many robots built by children. Everything in IKC Magenta’s Discovery Lab breathes technology. Bas Abbink feels completely at home. As a teacher at the primary school in Delden, Bas brings education and technology together. 

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This article is part of a series called “Twente Leeft!” (Twente Lives!). You can read personal stories here about living and working in Twente. Twente is a nice place to be, according to the talents we meet. The beautiful nature, space, and the down-to-earth mentality all characterise Twente. There are also plenty of career opportunities! Twente has many innovative, international and future-proof companies that are desperate for staff. Want to know what Twente has to offer? You can find Bas Abbink's story below.


First of all, who is Bas Abbink?

“I am Bas, 38 years old. I have a wife and two daughters, and I live in Borne. I am from Hengelo, so I was born and raised in Twente; a beautiful region I do not want to leave any time soon. I started working in education when I was 26. I worked at Albert Heijn for 15 years before that. I had a great time there and received many opportunities, but I wanted to do something more meaningful. Education appealed to me. I wanted to teach and mentor others. Help children gain experience and make them more independent and resilient.”

As a teacher, you try to combine technology and primary education. What is your background regarding technology?

“That’s the beauty of it: I don’t have one. It just happened. I was working at the Jan Ligthartschool in Borne. The school's principal interrupted my history lesson one day and asked me if I wanted a 3D printer in my classroom. I received it two weeks later and had to assemble it myself. That was quite a challenge, but I succeeded with the help of a parent and a group of students. I started working with the design programme that came with the printer, and I loved it; it piqued my interest in technology. We got a Lego robot sometime later, and I also liked assembling and programming the robot. Those two events made me realise education can gain a lot from technology. I started a post-graduate course in Educational Expert Science & Technology. I wrote a plan to give technology a structural place in the curriculum during that course."

You have started working at IKC Magenta in the meantime.

“There was a teaching vacancy here. Nothing to do with technology, but I saw opportunities. The principal was enthusiastic about the plan I wrote and embraced it. It also helped that it was a very new school building with a spare classroom. I came up with the idea of turning it into a Discovery Lab, where children could work with engineering and technology. The principal liked that as well.”

How is technology implemented in the curriculum?

"Every class uses two robots or other technical devices children can use. The children learn how to programme the robots in a fun way, but we also use design programmes to teach them how to make animations. They gain more and more technical knowledge throughout their years here. We even have children in the last grade of primary school who already know how to work with JavaScript. We have also started collaborating with a commercial company from Hengelo. They want to give technology a permanent place in the curriculum and occasionally hire me to give information to other schools and foundations. The Discovery Lab then acts as a sort of showroom."

Why is it important for children to work with technology?

“Digitisation and robotisation will only increase in the future. There are many vacancies in technology, and many children have technological talent. We focus on knowledge of language and arithmetic in the Netherlands, even though someone can also be good at programming. The government is also increasingly focused on technology in education, and my colleagues and parents are interested too. They see how enthusiastic the children are, which is what I love about all of this. Programming lessons are not always easy; you need to be determined. But I enjoy seeing the children succeed and celebrate.”

Technology is now an important part of the curriculum at IKC Magenta; what else do you want to achieve?

“I would love to collaborate more with local companies. High schools use field trips and workshops; I think primary schools could also benefit from this. Everyone knows what police officers and teachers do, but children have no idea what happens at companies. It would be great if they could take a look inside and see the possibilities that technology brings. I also hope other regional schools will start implementing more technology in their curriculums.”

Twente is the ideal place to live and work, according to the talents we meet. Want to know why? Read personal stories about living and making a career in Twente on Want to look for a job immediately? Then take a look at our extensive job site.

Date: 15 March 2023 |

Source of tekst: Bas Abbink, IKC Magenta |

Author: Willem Korenromp


IKC Magenta
Langestraat 118b
7491 AK Delden
074 376 2350

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