System for Learning and Assessment through Tangible Exploration


  • 08.25.2013SLATE System and Toolkit setup materials publicly released
    We are pleased to announce the release of the SLATE System and Toolkit setup documentation and source code for public use (detailshere). The distribution contains schematics and source code for assembling the SLATE frame and our award-winning Mechanix Toolkit, as well as instructions for creating a new toolkit of your own design!
  • 05.05.2013Mechanix presented at CHI 2013
    We were thrilled to present Mechanix Reflection at CHI 2013 in Paris, France! This was a great opportunity to share Mechanix and SLATE with a large, international audience and be inspired by other research in the areas of human-computer interaction and design for children.
  • 02.10.2013Mechanix to be presented at CHI 2013
    Our short paper detailing the design and research outcomes of our new Reflection interface for Mechanix was accepted to the proceedings of the 2013 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris, France. CHI is the premier international conference on human-computer interaction.
  • 09.16.2012SLATE introduces Mechanix Reflection
    After a considerable period of research, design, and implementation, we are pleased to announce the creation of Mechanix Reflection, a new version of the Mechanix software that introduces alternative ways for kids to share and reflect on their designs through audio recordings, abstracted replay, reification, and juxtaposition. Our preliminary research results have demonstrated the positive impact these interfaces can have on engagement and learning for children.
  • 07.20.2011SLATE receives kickstarter funding!
    Heartfelt thanks to all of our supporters who helped us reach our funding goal after just 15 days! We are inspired by the enthusiasm you have shown for SLATE and excited about the opportunity to develop the system even further. Our next steps include formally documenting the SLATE and toolkit construction process, building a system in Boston to facilitate research studies, and developing new interactions for promoting engagement and learning.
  • 06.25.2011Mechanix presented at IDC 2011
    We were pleased to attend and present our research findings on the affordances of Mechanix for collaboration and learning at IDC 2011, the tenth international conference for Interaction Design and Children, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • 05.23.2011SLATE launches kickstarter campaign
    We have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the next phase of SLATE. Our primary goal is to prepare the system for use in schools and museums. Check out our new video and funding rewards on ourkickstarter page and share the link with your friends!
  • 05.22.2011SLATE wins Education Award at Maker Faire!
    Maker Faire Bay Area 2011 was an overwhelming success. The Young Makers area was centrally located and drew a constant stream of people eager to explore with SLATE. Not only did we enjoy the opportunity to meet and be inspired by hundreds of children, but our system was selected for an Education Award, complete with an official ribbon from the MAKE Team!
  • 03.25.2011SLATE to be presented at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011
    See us at Maker Faire!We are happy to announce that our application to present Mechanix at Maker Faire Bay Area 2011 was accepted. The mission of Maker Faire "is to unite, inspire, inform, and entertain a growing community of highly imaginative and resourceful ['Makers'] who undertake amazing projects in backyards, basements, and garages." "[These people] just might spark the next generation of scientists, engineers and makers."
  • 03.13.2011Mechanix to be presented at IDC 2011
    Our full paper examining the affordances of Mechanix for documenting tangible design work, facilitating social learning and collaboration, and introducing young children to physics concepts and engineering systems design was accepted to the proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC) to be held from June 19-23 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The goal of IDC is to "understand children's needs and how to design for them by presenting and discussing the most innovative research in the field of interaction design for children."
  • 03.09.2011SLATE presented at Cyberlearning Conference
    We presented SLATE at CyTSE 2011, the first conference on Cyberlearning tools for STEM Education. We were particularly pleased to unveil our network-based interactive mode, which supports synchronous distributed collaborative interactions with the SLATE framework.
  • 01.25.2011Mechanix presented at TEI 2011
    We were thrilled to attend and present Mechanix at TEI 2011, the fifth international conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, in Madeira, Portgual. We wish to thank the attendees for their inspiring conversations and presentations, and for their warm reception of our work.
  • 12.09.2010Mechanix featured in Stanford University News
    In recognition of our Disney Learning Challenge Award and our acceptance to TEI, Mechanix was featured on the Stanford University home page under the title "Hooking Children on Engineering". The article, which continues to be featured on the Stanford School of Education site, may be accessed below:
    An award-winning interactive display created by Stanford students is rapidly gaining notice for its imaginative approach to teaching children engineering design. . .
  • 12.06.2010SLATE to be presented at Cyberlearning Conference
    Our proposal of SLATE as a system that utlizes networking technologies to support synchronous and asynchronous learning via collaborative, tangible exploration was accepted to the proceedings of the 2011 Conference on Cyberlearning Tools for STEM Education (CyTSE), to be held from March 8-9 in Berkeley, CA. Representatives from Academia, Industry, and Education will be present to share and demonstrate novel technologies that support learning in a networked world. At CyTSE, we will present SLATE in a live demonstration, as well as in an Interactive Breakout Session.
  • 10.12.2010Mechanix to be presented at TEI '11
    Our short paper presenting Mechanix as a toolkit for exploring physics and systems design was accepted to the proceedings of the 2011 international conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI) to be held from January 23-26 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. TEI draws researchers from around the world who specialize in human computer interaction theory and design, specifically as they pertain to tangible user interfaces. We will present Mechanix in a live demonstration at the conference.
  • 07.28.2010Mechanix wins Disney Research Innovation Award!
    Mechanix was chosen as a finalist in the 2010 Disney Learning Challenge, a competition established with the goal of identifying new and creative ways to use technology to engage children in learning. As finalists, we presented Mechanix at the annual SIGGRAPH conference along with projects from across North America and Europe, some of which had been developed by large research teams over several years. After five days of exposition and two rounds of judging, Mechanix was awarded the prize for Innovation as the project that "demonstrates a fundamental change to the way learning is enabled through transformative uses of digital media and interactivity." The award included a cash prize and tours of the Walt Disney Studios.