For more info on how we got here, read The Background!
As we noted in our previous post, with the Story Sash Project, we want to give children a way to see themselves as the protagonists of different narratives, and tie those narratives to engaging, fun STEM-focused activities. In doing this, we hope to help empower, educate, and ignite children of all backgrounds, and get them actively engaging with their environment in fun, budget-friendly ways.
We started with what we called the Active Play Shirt. The idea behind it was that the shirt would play through a narrative where the child wearing the shirt was the protagonist (kind of like a choose your own adventure!). Wrapped up in this narrative would be at-home science experiments that the child could work through – with adult supervision. The shirt would use audio to communicate with the child and the child could interact with the sash through controls similar to an ipod. After getting feedback from the class, we quickly decided something more adaptable to children’s rapid growth rate would be preferable, so the shirt became a sash.
In our first brainstorming session, we settled on the idea of a badge system for the stories. When a child attached a badge to the sash, a certain story stored on the memory card of the sash would activate and begin to play. We also wanted to create an exciting visual display to indicate that a child had completed a story or activity, so decided to add an led display to the sash!
With all these technical bits, we didn’t really know where to start…but more on that later!