Inventing through Play
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.”
(Carl Jung, founder of Analytical Psychology, 1875-1961)
Playing with blocks. Playing with ideas. Playing with machines we build ourselves. This is what the ENGINO® System is all about. Because when kids are having fun exploring things that matter to them, they open themselves up fully to the joy of scientiﬁc discovery.
After 17 years of designing educational toys, we are still surprised by the ideas kids come up with when they get enough ENGINO® parts in their hands! Form cloth-hangers to mobile phone holders, from swords to spaceships, there is no limit to what a child can create, many times proving that they think - unlike most adults - outside of the box.
Nowadays, there are many innovative ways for children to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) outside of the traditional classroom. We, at ENGINO® simply provide the tools for doing it better!
Having the right tools for the job
The ENGINO® system goes way beyond the mere supply of building blocks. Our encompassing philosophy aspires to empower children to become Inventors; for this to work we need to provide them with a plethora of tools that will unlock their full potential.
TOOL 1: Building Blocks
TOOL 2: STEM Curriculum
TOOL 3: Software Support
With our revolutionary software suite, children gain access to a virtual world where the sky is the limit! With “kidCAD” app, models can be viewed in 3D, rotate, zoom, implode and explode, while with the “3D Builder” kids can actually assemble their own model on screen. With “KEIRO”, robotic models can be programmed, while “ENVIRO” will simulate the program in virtual arenas! Click to find out more!
Our 4-steps to becoming an Inventor
Once you have all the tools available, then you must learn how to use them! Allowing children to play freely is just one aspect of inspiring creativity. Without a methodology however, everything will be left at luck, and our children’s future cannot depend on luck. The famous Microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) said “Chance favors the prepared mind”, and ENGINO® has the method to prepare them!
The unique ENGINO® snap-fit components allow multiple connections, and lead to an amazing large number of models, doable with the same, single library of parts found in each set. Children can follow the step-by-step printed instructions to build their models or they can view them in 3D using the “kidCAD™” free app. Once they learn how models are assembled, they can create their own ideas quite fast due to the maximized reconfigurability of the system.
Not all building systems offer the possibility of scientific experimentation like ENGINO® does. The ENGINO® parts are easily disassembled and connected back in different positions, making it possible to try out different variables, take measurements and observe how the model functions with every change. Kids can make hypothesis and then test how the model performs, validating their assumptions and finding solutions in real-life problems. Clear instructions on how to carry out the experiment are provided to guide children throughout the entire process.
After kids experiment with their model, they have questions about what they have experienced and are more eager to answer them. That is when studying and learning about the actual theory becomes a meaningful task; a task that no longer feels as a burden but brings in the joy of scientific discovery. Children correlate their observations and results with what the true Science says and validate their findings. This solidifies knowledge and provides the stepping stone for further discovery and exploration.
Innovation is not relying just on knowledge, however it has been proven than without adequate understanding of STEM principles, it is very difficult to advance in engineering creativity. That is why the previous steps are critical in helping children reach their full potential. Open-problems can be daunting if there is no direction, especially for younger kids. As every kid is different, our approach in problem solving is to provide multiple “escape-routes”, so that children can innovate within frameworks they can understand and cope with. To this end we propose half-baked models or example solutions that help kick-start the innovation process.