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TinkerTags: Empowering today's youth, one step at a time

Project by 
Mo Akade, Mike Duong
Project Year 
2012
Computing is becoming important in an increasingly technological society. However, many students of color, particularly in low-resourced communities, lack powerful learning experiences in STEM. We have identified a group of tinkerers within these communities that would benefit from an intersection of design and technology. They are "sneakerheads" -- collectors and customizers of limited edition shoes. TinkerTags, a constructionist, wearable computing learning platform, taps into an existing passion to introduce these students to powerful ideas in computing and spark their interest in STEM fields. Learners use a visual programming language to program light patterns on tech-enhanced shoes. Furthermore, the TinkerTags-hosted website serves as a community of practice where TinkerTaggers can learn from others and share their creations with the world.