The Free Art and Technology Lab today announced a Free Univeral Construction Kit consisting of blueprints for 3D printing of 80 blocks and connectors that allow you to connect a varity of existing building kits.
Currently the kit interfaces with Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles / Bristle Blocks, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob pieces. Individual adapters can be found on Thingiverse.com or downloaded as a package of STL files.
Three cheers for easier and better building experiences. We are big fans of building things as a component of learning and as motivation, and have done extensive work with LEGO over the years including making the XO easy to connect with LEGO WeDo kits and other robotic tools.
The Government of Peru and LEGO’s Education group have been testing the WeDo toolkit in classrooms with XOs since it was released in 2008. This year they have launched a national program to distribute WeDo kits to roughly 20,000 schools.
LEGO’s Lars Nyengaard writes:
“I am happy to announce that the first major deployment of WeDo for XO will happen in Peru, starting this year. An amazing 20.000 schools will be populated with WeDo. 80.000 teachers will be taught in WeDo and the constructionist approach. More than 1,5 million children will experience WeDo across Peru.
We visited Brazil and Peru to understand the challenges for education in some of the underserved areas. Personally, I will never forget my visits to Brazil, the people I met and the children trying out our WeDo prototypes… we have pursued the original idea of bringing robotics constructonism and WeDo to countries, where the OLPC XO is deployed. I am happy, joyful and invigorated by the decision of the Peruvian government to deploy 92.000 WeDo sets with programming software, activities and teacher training.”
OLPC has been testing many different types of sensors and electronics kits, since the earliest work on Turtle Art with Sensors. The XO has also become a fine dedicated Scratch machine, and WeDo kits are easily enabled from within Scratch (with some handy video tutorials). If you can get your hands on an XO and a WeDo kit, try this with your friends, children, and students.