Interactive Light Studio
The Interactive Light Studio is an outreach program to create an inspirational play and learning space for pre-kindergarten students at the American Sign Language and English Lower School (P.S. 347). P.S. 347 is New York City’s only public school for the deaf, hard of hearing, and children of deaf adults. It integrates deaf and hearing impaired children with hearing children based on the philosophy that deaf and hearing children learn best when they are taught together. The primary motivation for this project is to inspire young children to excel in science and increase awareness of how engineering can be used to make the world a better place. The project offers undergraduate students an opportunity to improve their technical and professional skills and develop a broader appreciation of the role of science and technology in bettering society.
Specific goals include designing a space for science exploration and creating a way for both deaf and hearing students to explore light and to directly and/or indirectly experience sound. A Diversity Action Grant from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was awarded for creating two interactive installations and activities. One wall consists of circuits representing fireflies that the children can move around; these electronic fireflies sense each other via infrared sensors and synchronize their flashing just as fireflies do in the Great Smokey Mountains. Another wall consists of talking flowers that transform sound to light. Sunflowers painted on the wall have microphones that trigger different colored lights depending on the frequencies of the sound in the room.
Current work includes expanding the Interactive Light Studio to incorporate a digital projection system and animatronics that respond to both motion and sound. Please contact Prof. Melody Baglione at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to learn more.