MDE: Power of Play Edition

The technology, engineering and design (TED) course – Power of Play edition – launched in the fall of 2017. This semester’s theme was rooted in Steven Johnson’s idea that play is actually the mother of invention. The goal of the first unit of the course was for student groups to create game, artifacts, or exhibits that would entice other students to interact and play with them in the HIVE. It also provided me, the course experience designer ;), to play with the way I structured my class. In the past I had started each new section of the course with “foundations” a series of 2 weeks mini projects intended to provide exposure to the various tools in our space (eg. woodworking, microelectronics, digital fabrication, etc). In that scenario, I prescribed a scenario (eg. a foldable wheelchair ramp, a 3d printed assistive device, etc) but allowing for student choice within. This go around I wanted to provided even more student choice. So…I simply prepped students with our class norms, some resources to find precedent projects, a deadline, and our Power of Play theme and let them run. Each student pitched a playful project, similar projects were combined, then students voted up the top 5 (equivalent to <4 person build teams). Teams organized by interest and the results were a 2 player pinball machine, a countertop retro arcade cabinet run on raspberyPi, a countertop pop-a-shot game, a custom lighted cornhole set (just in time for homecoming tailgate), and an Alexa powered (with custom app) robot assistant modeled after IronMan’s Jarvis.

Related Portfolios