|MIT Department: Media Arts and Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Mitchel Resnick
Undergraduate Institution: University of California, San Diego
I’m an aspiring design researcher with a background in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. I thrive when solving problems through user centered design and my ability to learn and adapt quickly has proven beneficial as a student of design. Outside of the classroom, you can usually find me trying a new recipe, painting, or working out at the track.
Testing the Creative Potential of Pixel Play Through Workshops
Christina Marquez1, Jaleesa Trapp2, Kreg Hanning2, and Mitchel Resnick2
1Department of Cognitive Science, University of California — San Diego
2Department of Media Arts & Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lifelong Kindergarten designs technologies to foster creativity in youth. According to Dr. Mitchel Resnick, a technology is considered successful if users can produce a wide variety of projects. To achieve this, a technology should have a low floor (easy to get started), high ceilings (projects can grow more complex over time), and wide walls (multiple paths can be taken). One major way we test these technologies is through designing and facilitating workshops where youth interact with and test these devices. Using this method, we tested the current features and creative potential of Pixel Play, a device that allows you to program LED lights using Scratch blocks. Workshops were designed in accordance with Mitchel Resnick’s creative learning principles as outlined in his book, Lifelong Kindergarten. During play tests, participants behaviors and comments were observed and taken note of. We learned about the possible uses of Pixel Play, as well as current limitations of the device. Results revealed features that would improve Pixel Play, including the addition of an ‘IF’ statement block to the software and motion sensor capabilities to the hardware. With these results in mind, the design of Pixel Play needs to be iterated on and tested in larger workshop settings.