Cubetto – A hands on programming language for girls and boys aged 3 and up

Can crowd funding be applied to schools and other public utilities? The answer is yes and we found a great example in the campaign launched by the primary school Secondo Istituto Comprensivo Francavilla Fontana in Brindisi that collected via the platform Eppela the funds necessary to create “L’Officina dei Giocattoli” (i.e. Toys’ Factory). The aim of the campaign is to literally make one of the pupils dream come true and to create a common space where they can transform old, and obsolete toys in smart ones. The project has been developed in four main phases: to recover old toys; to bring them into the Montessori Creativity Space; to re design their hard and soft ware; and to complete them with digital features in order to give them a total new look made up of sensors, small video cameras, led lights and so on. In the kids mind this represents the concrete realization of creativity process that allows them to even develop tools to control their old tractors and cars with smartphones and tablets. The campaign was launched in 2006 and collected around 150% of the original quotation. The funds have been spent for 3d printers, sensors, laser cut working table, 3d scanners, all instruments the kids need to improve the space they share as common thinking lab, team work space and for stem didactic activities. Also the project is recognized as green as it involve recovering and re use of old toys; economic as it is aimed at avoiding waste; fun as it stimulates the kids’ creativity, and digital.