Project

LEGO Wayfinder

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The LEGO Wayfinder project combines LEGO, robotics, and seawater into a playground of project-based learning and citizen science for budding engineers and explorers. As part of this outreach program, our team is developing a prototype of a buildable LEGO marine exploration vehicle kit—addressing some of the design challenges of building for the underwater context.

Using this kit, we will then be running a series of workshops with young people who will build on top of it, making the marine explorer more sophisticated and customized in order to execute marine science experiments of their design.

Our aim is to build an awareness of the state of the aquatic environment and instill a greater responsibility in shaping our interactions with the environment. To do so, young people will view underwater wonders of the world with their robots and get outside to explore their local waterway. Our approach embraces Seymour Papert’s model of "low floors" (where getting started is easy), and "high ceilings," where students can pour their time and collaborative work efforts into creative engineering solutions to carry out a marine scien… View full description

The LEGO Wayfinder project combines LEGO, robotics, and seawater into a playground of project-based learning and citizen science for budding engineers and explorers. As part of this outreach program, our team is developing a prototype of a buildable LEGO marine exploration vehicle kit—addressing some of the design challenges of building for the underwater context.

Using this kit, we will then be running a series of workshops with young people who will build on top of it, making the marine explorer more sophisticated and customized in order to execute marine science experiments of their design.

Our aim is to build an awareness of the state of the aquatic environment and instill a greater responsibility in shaping our interactions with the environment. To do so, young people will view underwater wonders of the world with their robots and get outside to explore their local waterway. Our approach embraces Seymour Papert’s model of "low floors" (where getting started is easy), and "high ceilings," where students can pour their time and collaborative work efforts into creative engineering solutions to carry out a marine science experiment of their own design in the field.

This program will kick off in summer 2018 with the National Geographic Student Expeditions at MIT, where we will host 40-50 high school students for two days of workshops at the MIT Sea Grant and New England Aquarium. Going forward, we aim to adapt this programming for wider student audiences in after-school programs, classrooms, libraries, and community-based mentor clubs for youth.

Team Members

  • Danny Badger (New England Aquarium)
  • Katy Croff Bell (MIT Media Lab)
  • Jenni Szlosek Chow (MIT Media Lab)
  • Tom Consi (MIT Sea Grant)
  • Heather Deschenes (New England Aquarium)
  • Rachel Hwang (Wellesley UROP)
  • Daniel Mathiasen (LEGO Education)
  • Katherine McConachie (MIT Media Lab)
  • Avery Normandin (MIT Media Lab)
  • John Paris (MIT UROP)
  • Mark Pierce (City Year)
  • Henriette Recny (City Year)
  • Philipp Schmidt (MIT Media Lab)
  • Marcel Schouwenaar (The Incredible Machine)
  • Harm van Beek (The Incredible Machine)