Joshua Chan, Tarun Pondicherry, and Paulo Blikstein. 2013. LightUp: an augmented, learning platform for electronics. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 491-494.
We present and evaluate the design of LightUp, an augmented, learning platform for electronics. LightUp helps children explore engineering and electronics by foregrounding fundamental concepts and backgrounding the extraneous intricacies of circuit construction. LightUp consists of electronic components (e.g. wire, bulb, motor, microcontroller) mounted on blocks that connect to each other magnetically to form circuits. In addition, LightUp provides an “informational lens” through a mobile app that recognizes the components in a photographed circuit and augments the image with visualizations of otherwise invisible circuit behavior. Our study findings demonstrate the experiential learning made possible by augmenting an intuitive circuit-building platform with information that allows children to learn skills that will help them develop engineering skills and agency.