TopCode Programming Stickers – created by Michael Horn, TIDAL Lab

NW CTD kids programs

Tangible Tech Collaborative: One highlight of the summer was watching the creative campers at the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University as they designed programs for a working robot.  Here Michael Horn shows a group of children how  TopCodes can be scanned into a computer to instruct a nearby robot.  Each child created his/her own “cut & paste” chain of commands (such as forward, spin, shake and turn right) and illustrated thoughts about potential robot designs. It is empowering, educational and fun to watch one’s own instructions performed by a real robot.  Thanks for the invitation to join in!

See Northwestern University’s TIDAL Lab for more creative uses of TopCodes, and explore the Summer Programs at the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University for info on innovative summer robotics activities and many other enriching opportunities for children.


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Strawbies Tangible Programming Project, led by Felix Hu

Strawbies - new

Tangible Tech Collaborative: As we explore new iterations of Strawbies, we are discovering that children love helping this adorable character Awbie (designed by Eric Uchalik) as he collects strawberries and explores the colorful open-ended world of Strawbies (programmed by Felix Hu).  Players instruct Awbie using tangible wooden programming tiles and scannable TopCodes. Current iterations of this project also use an Osmo stand and mirror.

See for the video, or read the illustrated paper Strawbies: Explorations in Tangible Programming written for the IDC 2015 Conference (Interaction Design & Children).  Authors of the paper are: Felix Hu, Ariel Zekelman, Michael S. Horn, and Frances Judd.

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