Beyond Bits and Atoms: Past projects

Beyond Bits and Atoms 2011: Selected projects


A tool to teach music and rhythm to young kids


A tangible system to learning neuroscience by doing "hands-on" virtual brain surgery.

Process Pad

A system to document and playback rich learning experiences

Beyond Bits and Atoms 2010: Selected projects


A tangible toolkit to introduce children to engineering systems and design.

Mechanix won the innovation prize at the Disney/SIGGRAPH Learning Challenge in 2010! For more videos and information, click here.


A toolkit to introduce children to electronics



A tangible game for learning music and rhythm.

Class and lab snapshots


Beyond Bits and Atoms 2009: Selected projects


BloX, digital place value blocks, allow kids to explore patterns in numbers and scaffolds their intuitive understanding of the base-10 place value system.

Authors: April Alexander and Larissa Co
Topics: Early childhood mathematics
Technologies used: Electronics, arduinos, GoGo Boards, laser cutting.

Get the flash player here:

Wings of Flight

"Wings of Flight" is a museum exhibit that enables children to learn aerodynamics by testing their own paper airplanes inside a miniature (but fully functional) wind tunnel. Electronic sensors capture the lift/drag data and send to the computer for further analysis.

Authors: Natalia Duong and Amy Wong
Topics: Physics, aerodynamics.
Technologies used: Robotics, electronics, microprocessors, GoGo Boards, laser cutting.

Get the flash player here:

Tangible Turtle

With Tangible Turtle, young children use physical blocks to move a turtle across the screen and program the computer by example. Recorded actions can then be edited, recombined, and put together, so that students can learning concepts of programming and logic.

Author: Dennis Paiz-Ramirez
Topics: Programming and logic
Technologies used: Video processing, video tags, Java, Logo, laser cutting.

Get the flash player here:

Show Me the Money!

"Show me the money" is a mixed-media board game in which students learn the principles of financial literacy, such as interest and saving, and especially the long term consequences of present-day financial decisions.

Author: Irina Gonzalez, Maria Carmela Sogono
Topics: Financial literacy, business education
Technologies used: Games, multimedia production, programming, 3D printing, sensors, GoGo Boards, laser cutting.

Get the flash player here:


The goal of the project is to generate materials and example projects for integrating the VIPER design process into traditional classroom settings, teaching students about the deep ideas embedded in the process of product design.

Author: Katherine Steele
Topics: Product design, music.
Technologies used: Computer modeling, agent-based modeling, NetLogo, webdesign, laser cutting.
Website and videos:

Get the flash player here:


Logibloks are tangible manipulatives to help 6-8th graders learn formal logic. They take the form of physical blocks that afford a restructuration of propositional calculus. The physical design of the blocks allows children to learn formal logic and deductive reasoning without barriers of symbolic representation and syntax found in traditional formal logic curricula for older students.

Author: Rodolphe Courtier, Tom Nguyen & Andy Russell
Topics: Logic and mathematics.
Technologies used: Games, Flash, programming, multimedia production, laser cutting.

Get the flash player here:


Children in the underdeveloped world have several handicaps. The two biggest ones are lack of information and lack of opportunity. There are no second chances for them and often, no first chances either. They have no knowledge about financial decision making and often make horrible mistakes that cost them throughout their life. School education has obviously not alleviated this problem. This is a simulation game to help students become a "tycoon" using the power of compound interest and market dynamics.

Author: Kapeesh Saraf
Topics: Financial literacy, business education
Technologies used: Games, agent-based modeling, NetLogo, programming

Get the flash player here:

Projects and pictures from the Stanford Makers' Club meetings:

Examples from a previous version of this class at Northwestern University

Past projects

Haptic Glove

Tsunami alarm