Eco Pod is an interesting project carried out at the Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea, that resemble much of the goals I had in mind while developing my Master’s thesis. The idea was to give access to children to some bits of System Thinking, namely the ability to understand simple rules of multi variate systems.
As a first step, the child places the Eco-pod in his classroom garden. The Eco-Pods start to monitor the water level in the soil, the amount of light, the temperature, and the wind. It also captures daily images of the plant. Every now and then, the child can take the Eco-Pods to the information retrieval system. This system allows him to transfer the recorded information to the “plant diary” software. Using this application, the child can view the changes of the different elements over time, and draw conclusions about their impact on the growth of the plant. Through this playful, intuitive interaction, children can learn Systems Thinking core concepts, such as feedback loops, stocks and flows, and changes over time.
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