Interactive Light Studio

This slideshow is part of: Melody Baglione

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.

The ILS has been featured on both WABC and NY1.

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 or click here to learn more.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.