A happy New Year to everyone!
In my last blog I talked about how hi-tech folks like ourselves can help improve science and technology education through outreach programs. I have been following a number of these programs and I thought I would start the year with a quick overview of some of them.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLCP) association is a fascinating project that has the objective of mass producing low-cost laptops for educating children in developing countries. The target price for each laptop is $100. The project is really starting to make progress and as it rolls out it will need many trained installers to get the program working in each country. The user interface for this laptop, known as sugar, is quite different from that of Apple and Microsoft and is fun to play with.
The OLCP association is a spin-off from the MIT Media Lab. The MIT Lab was the creator of the Lego Mindstorms technology that uses Legos to teach children about robotics. It is also the place where PicoCrickets were created. PicoCrickets are tiny computers children can use to create musical sculptures, interactive jewelry, dancing creatures, and other playful inventions. I am currently working with our local science museum to introduce PicoCricket programs into schools with at risk children. The MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten group has many other projects that are designed to help children grow up as creative thinkers and its web site is worth a visit.
You you are interested in reading more about these programs you might find the following links useful:
MIT Lifelong Kindergarten