Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yard sale treasures

This summer is the perfect period for yard sales! I have a few secret collections that are building up! All of them related to my research of course. One of my recent find is this vintage electronic kit for children, "discover the magic and mystery of electronics in minutes". Working in a group that researches on a seamless and tangible relationship to digital information, I find this child's game particularly of interest.



Each block represents an electronic component. As the child assembles the blocks together, the child designs a circuit. All the pieces have a magnet underneath. They can be assembled on a metallic large plate, plate that works as the circuit ground. The game is about electronics, analog electronics, but the iteration process of electronics discovery is "tangible". The child can relate to the kit like a puzzle and by this is invited to experiment with each piece. Many authors have claimed that the understanding of electronics is hands-on. Making this process connected to the learning of electronic symbols + offering a puzzle based interaction to circuit design is very exciting! Now there is a consequence to the connection of the pieces, where the electronics knowledge starts and the children are empowered in the design, focusing essentially on their component and how they spatially fits. Later on they can move on to working directly with the components ...

I have a more recent version of an electronic kit that shows directly the components, not the symbols. The connection is made by inserting wires between each component. I much prefer the puzzle based approach that welcome easy improvisation and experimentation with circuit design.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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