The phrase “children are naturally scientists” is one we hear often. And yet, these innate qualities in children may be hindered by a new and obsessive attachment to mobile devices and applications. This shift has had detrimental effects on children, including obesity, decreased attention spans and poor academic performance. As a response, we developed FantaSTICK, a fun tool that augments the classroom experience for children, through guidance and structure that can support their natural curiosity and activity and ultimately empower them to engage with the outdoors (like scientists) rather than their mobile devices. FantaSTICK is divided into detachable modules corresponding to colors and tasks. The purple module stores tools, the blue, litmus paper for testing PH, the green, plants or flowers, the orange, insects, and the yellow, soil as well as a moisture sensor. To begin the journey into the outdoors, parents and teachers place beacons in areas with data they would like the children to explore. When a child finds a beacon, a light at the top of their handle will indicate which module should be used for sensing or collecting. After a fun adventure, children can take their discoveries back to the classroom or the home, where teachers and parents can use an online platform that visualizes and records these discoveries through an interactive map and a personal profile. Changes in this data over time, as well as changes in the level of activity of the children, can be used to spark conversation, education, and further discovery.
Arnaud Bard de Coutance
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, 2018
B.A. Cognitive Science, 2018