Make, Code, Craft, Invent: Technology Will Save Us

A high-five machine, a plinky-plonky piano, and a fire-breathing dragon are just a few of the cool things you can create with Dough Universe, the latest Kickstarter project by the STEM superstars at Technology Will Save Us.

Here, co-founder Bethany Koby shares why she’s dedicated to developing toys that encourage kids to “make, code, craft, and invent.”

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You founded Technology Will Save Us in 2012 — how has the world of educational toys changed since then?

Drastically! When we launched, no one was creating toys that allowed kids to explore tech. Today, we’re not the only ones on this mission — our friends at Primo Toys, Kano, and Sphero have created their own remarkable toys to address this need. 

It’s also great to see the bigger players starting to take notice: Sphero’s partnership with Disney to create a codable BB-8 for Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought what we’re doing in this sector to an unbelievably wide audience.

What inspired Dough Universe and its complementary app?

Kids and parents love the “eureka moment” of creating circuits with dough. Many parents worry that tablets are as much a curse as a benefit, so we created an app that’s both fun and educational.

Why do you think it’s important for children to learn about technology at a young age?

Tech is an increasingly familiar part of our lives. We need to provide kids with the skills to customize and work with tech, as opposed to merely consuming it. Using tech at an early age means learning important social and development skills like problem-solving, dexterity, spatial awareness, and scientific vocabulary.

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The five best online communities for craft and play (not just for kids!)

Micro:bit: The home of inspirational ideas for BBC micro:bit lovers.

LoveCrafts: A community for knitters and crocheters.

DIY.org: A treasure trove of activities for kids.

Girls Go Digital: Computer science and technology events, workshops, and camps for girls.

Code First: Girls: This UK-based organization helps women and girls of all ages get into coding.

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Check these out

Reality Editor 2

Just watching a minute or two of this video from Fluid Interfaces makes my mind pop with the limitless possibilities for this technology.

OKIDO Magazine

This beautifully illustrated magazine for three- to eight-year-olds explains the science of the everyday in a fun and interactive way.

Aquila Magazine

When your kids have grown out of OKIDO, move on to this magazine covering fascinating science and challenging projects on a new topic each issue.

Multiple Arms Interaction Metamorphism

This looks kind of dystopian, but the intersection of the human body and technology is something that inspires a lot of our thinking around product development.

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This piece originally appeared in our Handpicked Happening newsletter, where Kickstarter creators share their recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to. 

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