SELF Design Studio


We are constantly searching for and experimenting with new tools in the SELF Design Studio. The following is a list of the tools currently available for UNCG SOE students to explore.

Little Bits

littleBits is an easy way to prototype and learn with electronics. It’s an ever-growing library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets so you can invent anything.

Hummingbird Robotics Kit

The Hummingbird Robotics Kit is a great way to introduce robotics to elementary and middle school students. The kit is easily programmed with the CREATE Visual Programmer or Scratch. Students learn how to program and control LEDs, motors, servos, vibration motors and several types of sensors. Check out some of the examples of Hummingbird Robots from their website.

Cubelets Modular Robots

Cubelets are modular, magnetic robotic kit. There are three types of Cubelets: Thinking, Action, and Sensing. Students can experiment and create mobile robots that use basic logic.

With Cubelets, educators can use hands-on STEM tool with students ages 4 years old through high school and beyond. Cubelets engage students in learning about robotics and systems of interactions. Students also get to investigate truly integrated STEM with project based learning and open-ended questions touching on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics activities.

MaKey MaKey

Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the Internet! It’s a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts making art, engineering, and everything in between. Combine this tool with Scratch, and you’ve created a great interactive digital story, game, musical instrument and more!

Scratch Programming Language

Scratch is a programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others around the world. In the process of designing and programming Scratch projects, young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.

Scratch is designed with learning and education in mind. A wide variety of educators have been supporting Scratch creators since 2007, in both formal and informal learning environments – K-12 classroom teachers, educational and computer science researchers, librarians, museum educators, and parents.

Check out a few of our Scratch projects created in the studio.

Lilypad / e-textiles

LilyPad is a set of sewable electronic pieces designed to help you build soft interactive textiles. A set of sewable electronic modules–including a small programmable computer called a LilyPad Arduino–can be stitched together with conductive thread to create interactive garments and accessories. LilyPad can sense information about the environment using inputs like light and temperature sensors and can act on the environment with outputs like LED lights, vibrator motors, and speakers.

Squishy Circuits

Squishy Circuits are a project from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas. The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough.

SparkFun Red Board / Arduino

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects.h3>