Chapter Spotlight: David Saunders of Greenwich, CT

By admin

David Saunders

@designsaunders

 

DSaynde

I am based in…

Greenwich, Connecticut

In a few sentences, tell us more about your organization/space.

We are a library media center and innovation lab at an independent school in western Connecticut. Our mission is to empower students to think critically and creatively about their environment and find ways to positively impact our community.

I was inspired to start a Global Chapter because…

I’ve seen firsthand the power of creative problem solving and collaboration in our innovation lab, and I want to connect more directly with likeminded folks in the community. Helping to lead a Global Chapter will not only give me the opportunity to meet and work with fellow makers in our area, it will also connect me more globally to inspiring and influential communities around the world.

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Tell us more about your event that took place last week.

We recently ran a game design and construction event that had a simple objective: Design and build a game that can be played by two or more people. Students formed groups of 3-4 and were given a set of about 15 different LittleBits, access to a LEGO bin, and craft materials such as cardboard, tape, etc. They then set about devising a game concept that they then constructed over the course of an hour. We ended the evening with a gallery walk where each group demonstrated their game and answered questions. It was so fun to sit with students as they worked together to make their game concept a reality, often making changes to their original idea along the way.

What were some of the projects that came out of your event?

One group created a tabletop soccer game that included a kicker, goalkeeper, and spectators. The offensive player was affixed to a DC Motor bit in order to propel the ball towards the goal. Their goalkeeper was a long LEGO brick attached to a servo that swung back and forth in an effort to block the shot. Both the motor and the servo were attached to dimmers that controlled their speed.

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Another group built a board game called House of Horrors. It was a haunted house with sensors along the way that triggered unfortunate events, such as a car being dropped on your head from above, or a giant snake head being launched in your direction. The objective of the game was to make it through the house alive, something that no player was able to accomplish in our time together…

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What did you learn from hosting this event?
Giving students creative “space” is essential. Our objective for the event was simple, but allowed for an incredible amount of interpretation and expression. Some students made tabletop sports games while others made board games. We even had one group create an airplane simulator with a cardboard box! Giving students choice and agency in their work is a non-negotiable.

Who else in your community inspires you?
I am daily inspired by the students in our community and by the amazing people with whom I am connected via social media. In particular, I am inspired by the educators I know who are working to bring creative problem solving and collaboration into their work with students.

What’s next for your chapter?
We are so excited to get started as an official Global Chapter! Our next goal is to schedule a series of events and become a hub of exploration and innovation for the people in our community!

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