9 Year Old EdTech Reporter Talks With The Creator Of Extraordinaires Design Studio
While more and more companies are teaching kids the fundamentals of code via robots, computer simulations, pocky sticks and mobile apps, there’s one company that is teaching the same fundamentals in a more low tech way.
There’s no technology involved in the Extraordinaires Design Studio for kids 8 and up. It’s part game, part art set, part design studio. Through a game featuring ninjas, giants, mermaids, and other extraordinary characters, the creators capture the minds of children. Once they do that, the problem and design steps begin.
Rory O’Connor, the creator of the world famous Story Blocks is behind the Extraordinaires Design Studio. He explained to our 9 year old edtech reporter exactly how it’s played.
First kids pick a character it could be a giant or a ninja or in this case a mermaid. Then the problem is established. The kids need to design a sporting event space for the mermaid. That starts their brains thinking about what would go into a sporting event space for a mermaid. Water of course. But how do you put that kind of water inside.
Once the ideas are worked out, kids go to work actually drawing out the designs to solve the problem.
In another instance a giant needs to live in a house and a community that’s made for normal sized people. How can the kids help the giant adapt to the lifestyle in that environment.
“We set out to create a toy that let children explore these skills in a playful way. I hit upon the idea of using ‘Personas’. In user-centered design and marketing, personas are fictional characters, written to represent a user of a product or a system. Instead of using regular people as personas, I decided to use the archetypal storybook characters that children were familiar with. I thought it would be fun to design things for a pirate, a superhero, a robot or a fairy. The larger-than-life nature of these characters would allow us to amplify real human needs. They would be no ordinary personas, they would be extraordinary! They would be The Extraordinaires®.” co-founder Anita Murphy said on their web page.
The Extraordinaires Design Studio actually becomes more hands on immersive than some software and robots that cost ten times the $40 cost.
Check it out here at extraordinaires.com