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Title:Learning while playing -The educational toy for children learning STEAM knowledge
Author(s):Jiang, Lai
Advisor(s):Sethi, Suresh
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art and Design
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Educational toys
authentic learning
Industrial design
Abstract:Learning is the unique ability that differentiates human beings from an animal. The learning process begins since we were born, and it never ends. Like my grandparents, who are 80 years old, are still learning how to use smartphones. For children, they seem to have a lot to learn even before they enter primary school. As a young child growing up in China, I have experienced the typically "chinses style education" with a slogan: "do not let your children lose at the starting line." There is a belief among Chinese parents: the earlier the children start to learn, the more significant achievement they will gain in the future. As a result, children are forced to take many extra-curricular activities and competing with other children at a very young age. This phenomenon is getting more and more common today. My four-year-old cousin takes four extra-curricular classes every weekend, including dancing, drawing, swimming, and English. My aunt is planning to give him another math class to get him prepared for primary school. I understand the reason why parents give children so much pressure. Because learning at a young age is fundamentally essential. Kids can learn more quickly at this time, and we cannot waste time. While my only concern is no matter how good the purpose is, we should never force children to do anything. If they need to, we should find the most acceptable way. In terms of learning and more explicitly learning at a young age, the most satisfactory method is to make children enjoy learning. With the rapid development of technology, a more interactive digital learning experience has replaced the traditional textbook-based learning method. Educational toy embedded with technology such as VR and AR has enriched the learning experience for young children. My thesis project is aimed to design an educational toy that can make children from four to six years old enjoy learning STEAM knowledge. The concept is based on integrating designing, making, and playing to help children learning in a relaxing environment. The final design combines physical and UI/UX design, which uses nature as a resource, story as a start point, game as the learning method, and collecting as the stimulator to bring children an authentic learning experience.
Issue Date:2020-12-07
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Lai Jiang
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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