Project 3: Engaging Children in Hands-on Learning

Due Dates

Tuesday March 28 Preliminary project ideas due
Tuesday April 4 Preliminary project proposal outline due on course website
SATURDAY April 8 Test of Project 2 at Moving 4th into Engineering
Tuesday April 11 Proof of concept prototype critique
Tuesday April 17 Functional prototype due
Tuesday May 2 Fully functional prototype presentation and critique
Thursday May 4 Complete project due including web documentation
Wednesday May 10 Final presentation at Meeting of the Minds

For project 3, you will design, build and test prototypes of a toy, game, or activity that engages children in hands-on learning about the physical world. Your project must:

  • engage a child’s curiosity to learn
  • appeal to all types of children, with differing levels of knowledge and abilities
  • be safe and durable
  • use appropriate and sustainable technology
  • include at least one part manufactured by the team using a digital fabrication technology and at least one electronic component

Preliminary Project Ideas: Tuesday March 28
By the end of class on Tuesday March 28, each team will make an informal presentation of the ideas they have come up with. You should be clear about what the activity is and what the children will learn. The project can be a continuation of Project 2 or a completely new idea.

Preliminary Project Proposal: Tuesday April 4
Each team will create a page(s) on the class web site explaining the idea they plan to pursue, answering the following questions:

  1. What is the concept the children will learn?
  2. What will the children do and how will they learn by interacting with your project?
  3. How does your project meet the requirements given above?
  4. What supplies will be needed? What needs to be manufactured? If appropriate, include a sketch of the activity.

Test of Project 2 at Moving 4th into Engineering Saturday April 10

The first test with children will be at Moving 4th into Engineering on Saturday April 10th. Throughout this time, you will be refining and improving your activity.

Proof of Concept Prototype: Due Tuesday April 11
Each team must bring a proof-of-concept prototype of their activity to class. The purpose is to see whether the project will work and to get more concrete reactions and suggestions from the other teams. The prototype should demonstrate the concept and convince you that your idea probably will or probably won’t work.

Functional Prototype: due Tuesday April 17

Fully functional prototype presentation and critique: Tuesday April 25

Completed project due Thursday April 29

Your web site should document your project, explaining what it is teaching and how it works. This web site is for external consumption, so you should not include the design process information that you put in your portfolio.

Meeting of the Minds: Wednesday May 10
The final presentation of your project will be during Meeting of the Minds. All the projects will be set up in the CUC. More details to follow.