We could not believe that these guys at the NYC-based Institute of Play actually call their jobs work! They spend their days helping schools create play-based learning curricula. When they came across 3Dux/design products, they had to try them out. Interested in feedback from their customers, they hosted a Made with Play event at their Chelsea NYC loft space and invited educators from across the NYC area to put our product to the test.
No pre-show jitters for us. We were excited to present our product to a room full of educators. After all, everyone was there to play.
The event started out with a meet-and-greet followed by an intro to our architecture sets. Then the ball got rolling (really). The group was divided into 5 teams. Each team was given it's own color set of connectors, scissors, straws, a hole puncher and a pile of recycled cardboard.
Each team had 30 minutes to create a functional marble run.
If that was enough of an engineering feat, we then added a unique twist to the exercise. The teams now had to connect all of their structures to create one giant marble run! This highlighted our product's potential as a team-building tool in the class room. Interestingly, assigning the group into color-teams was quite well received. Then asking the teams to then collaborate as one unit created a bit of turmoil. It took some time for the teams to figure out how to transition from competition to collaboration.
By the end of the challenge, we had a huge (mostly functional) marble run.
We then spent some Q&A time with the team reviewing the potential uses for 3Dux/design products in the classroom. Here's what the educators came up with...
- For early education- basic geometry, 3D spatial thinking, problem solving, socialization, executive functioning and open-ended creative play
- elementary school- higher level geometry and engineering concepts, design thinking, problem solving and team-building
- higher education- integration with technology classes, CAD, 3D modeling exercises, introduction to architecture, product design and industrial design, prototyping,
- Extra-curricular activities, STEM and STEAM programs, science fairs, invention clubs, technology classes, architecture programs