“Make a device to help with some kitchen task–a pancake flipper, a salt shaker, or whatever you can imagine. Your device must include a motor or a sensor (or better yet, both!)”So began the April challenge on the Dr E’s WeDo Challenge website. Participants had one month to design, build, and program their kitchen helpers.
Forty-three groups from all over the world shared videos and photos of their creations on the site. Participants ranged in age from four to thirteen.Based on their entries, the kitchen of the future will be a pretty exciting place! Ideas ranged from a bacon thrower to an automatic egg cooker to an electric cutting board.
At the end of the month, everyone had a chance to vote for their favorite Kitchen Helper. The winner was RoboWisk, created by five- and seven-year-old siblings from Italy.
Dr E’s WeDo Challenges are the brainchild of Ethan Danahy, a professor at Tufts University. They are one of a series of challenges that Professor Danehy has launched to encourage open-ended problem solving, creativity, and communication in children.
This past year featured eight WeDo challenges: WeDo World Cup, Monsters, Mountain, Celebration, Insectarium, Cotton Ball Launcher, Kitchen Helper, and Half Minute Movie. In September, Dr E’s WeDo Challenges will be back with a new set of challenges.