Last month the Tinkering Studio team traveled to Billund, Denmark to participate in the LEGO Foundation’s Partners Meeting. Over two days educators, funders, and leaders from all over the world came together to discuss Learning through Play, which is the focus of LEGO Foundation’s work.
The video above gives a good overview of what we did. The Tinkering Studio set up and hosted three concurrent workshops, to directly engage participants in playful learning experiences and provide them with materials-rich explorations of scientific phenomena. We facilitated Marble Machines, the LEGO-powered version of Scribbling Machines we have been calling Art Machines, and a new iteration of Light Play that we have been prototyping for the last few months that adds programming and computation to our analog version.
This last activity, tentatively called Digital Light Play, has been a collaboration between the Tinkering Studio, MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten group, LEGO Foundation, and Reggio Children. LLK developed a version of Scratch Junior that is able to control three color-changing LED lights, a slow-moving motor, and take input from a couple of sensors—all through a custom made board.
The app is still in its very early prototype stage, but the main idea is to create sequences of commands that can combine light effects, movement, feedback from the vignette, and even sound and music to explore further dimensions: sequential scenes, narrative, stage lighting, puppetry, and perhaps even large scale immersive installations.
We’ll share more about Digital Light Play in future blog posts. For now, enjoy the video and a little teaser about our developments!