Senior Capstone Project/
H&SS Honors Thesis

Overview: This project showed how I chose to integrate my two areas of study: architecture + psychology. Its purpose was to represent an example of the cumulation of knowledge that I have developed over my four years at Carnegie Mellon University.

The title of the project is "Modular Mighty Magz"


Research Paper

    Modular Mighty Magz is a truly interdisciplinary project that combines my disciplines of architecture and psychology with education as well. Last summer, I started the research process by traveling to a professional development program between the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Graduate School of Design to see how educators and architects could work together to change the future of education. I traveled from Boston to Denver looking at children's museums and speaking with the professionals in charge to see what worked and did not work for designing exhibits for children. After preliminary research on museums and designing exhibits for children, I decided to create an educational object of my own out of the research for my dual thesis: the BXA Capstone Project and the H&SS Honors Thesis. I focused on catering to developmental milestones such as working on fine and gross motor skills through manipulation of objects while teaching concepts such as art, math, or physics. I quickly found that I was trying to conquer too much at once and focused on a single concept, that of magnetism.

    Modular Mighty Magz is designed to be a fun way to teach children about concepts such as magnetic poles, attraction, repulsion, and magnetic fields while adhering to the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Kindergarten Standards. The toy is also designed to foster collaboration, which I have discovered is a big push for the future of education, through the strength of the magnetic wooden blocks and design of the layout of the play space. I conducted a psychology experiment with four to six-year-old children at the Carnegie Mellon Children's School involving all the children receiving a teacher lesson on magnetism followed by a 15 minute opportunity to play with either Modular Mighty Magz or a common magnet toy, specifically Mega Magz. Though all children learned from the lesson, those who interacted with the Modular Mighty Magz learned and collaborated more. This result means that this toy has the potential to be used in schools, museums, or homes across the country for improved learning on teaching concepts about magnets.

Patent Pending.

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