In this episode of the Beyond the Hour of Code Podcast, we take a look at Toy Hacking. Have you ever looked at an old electronics toy and thought to yourself “Can I repurpose this before tossing it?” If have you ever have taken a toy apart and attempted to use it in your classrooms then you are indeed a Toy Hacker!
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A Plush Approach to Robotics and STEM
As I continue to work and play, I am always trying to figure out how to be more effective. How can I make this adventure attractive to even more students at my school, and more teachers around the world.
The Problem with Robots
It is that they are robots. My students come in the door with ideas about robots, they love them or they don't.
Until the advent of Sphero, most classroom robotics followed the LEGO Mindstorms approach. Students assembled a robot and learned to program it. This is a very developmental approach and facilitates deep and genuine learning. It never worked for me. I struggled to keep the kids engaged, and it was challenging to use the robots in the classroom without investing a great deal in equipment.
The Opportunity of Toy Hacking
Many of the toys on the market today operate on simple low voltage chips. We can open these toys up and manipulate their inputs and outputs. This gets my kids into the wiring and programming of robots without the time-intensive process of building the robots. Almost all my kids are interested in toys.
These three are all great resources for Toy Hacking
Join the Toy Hacking Revolution Today!
Do you have any favorite toys that you are interested in Toy Hacking? I would love to hear from you and see photos of your latest STEM projects. Please feel free to leave me a message by using the comment section below.