kīˈmi(ə) is a kit, for children from 4 to 8 years old, that teaches the building blocks of an electric circuit through a system that leave room to the children’s imagination.
Ki me is a kit which introduces a new frame, interaction, and technology to the classic game of building blocks.
The kit’s blocks are made of wood and are divided into two types of blocks, modular and unique, which are further divided into smart modules, sensors, actuators, and constructive modules, conductive wires.
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The kit is composed of two types of blocks: the unique ones and the modular ones, shared with others. Either of these types can belong to both smart and constructive components.
Using the smart modules children can familiarising, and learning the electronics building blocks. While with the constructive modules they make room for their imagination.
Combining both of these blocks, children make up their first physical circuit, make room for imagination, giving life to their creatures and imaginary shape.
The constructive modules are identifiable as there will be a texture on their surfaces.
In contrast, the smart modules will have the symbol of the respective component engraved on it. This system will make these symbols familiar; they can be used to learn and start reading the electrical diagram composed by the physical structure.
This infographic system is revealing the pattern of the electric circuit in a visual way, that is overlapping it to the playful structure created by the child.
Also, the smart modules will be governed by a colour code. The connection faces between the blocks will present two different colours, one for input and one for output. The user will connect the various smart modules by matching the faces of the block having opposite colours. In this way, children begin to pay attention to input and output, as happens in the actual composition of an electrical circuit.
Ki me is a physical artefact. The user interacts with it by manipulating the various wooden blocks and modules. By combining them, following the colour code and the connection system with magnets, the user has the possibility of building structures at pleasure.
Through these structure flows the current, from the battery module to each component, that brings to life the same structure. The actuators light up (LED modules) subjects, declined by the behaviour of the other smart components into the circuit, that the user built.
In-context research with children (4+) during a playing activity and using the DIY Electro Dough Kit of Technology Will Save Us.
Interviews with parents, educators and, teachers of infant and primary schools.
"BEFORE I FINISH
AND THEN I’LL SHOW YOU"
"NOW I CAN DESTROY
AND MAKE ANOTHER ONE?"
"IF YOU DO IT,
THEN I’LL DO TOO"
I’LL SHOW YOU"