Popular TED Talk leads to app innovation for UTS Design student
A final year UTS Visual Communication student has developed an app that encourages children to explore science by upcycling everyday objects in fun experiments.
The Inventory developed by Susan Le, was inspired by the maker movement and Arvind Gupta’s TED Talk (opens an external site) of turning trash into learning toys, which has generated over a million views:
“The idea came about after noticing all the media attention on the decline in participation rates of high school students taking science and maths subjects, and also how most science and tech toys are largely marketed towards boys,” explains Susan.
“My product is about making these traditionally male disciplines such as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) accessible to all kids through hands-on learning and play, while also promoting the act of recycling.”
Using fun animation that brings ordinary objects to life, the app has been designed aesthetically to avoid any gender stereotypes. It allows children to conduct simple and safe experiments using items such as lemons and balloons.
“I believe that many exciting and powerful things can happen when you allow design to join forces with other disciplines like research, science, technology, and education,” says Susan.
For the maths and science enthusiast, being able to exhibit the final project at the upcoming Graduate Show cements Susan’s inclination to study Visual Communication four years ago:
“I was drawn to a number of design degrees at UTS, but it was actually the Vis Com grad show I visited back in year 12 that immediately sold me. I remember seeing all the amazing work and thought: wow, that’s exactly the kind of thing I want to work on,” reflects Susan.
“And here I am now part of this year’s grad show. As my friend said to me, “You’ve come full circle”.
The Inventory and other design projects will be on display at the 2015 UTS Visual Communication Graduate Show, Friday 20 November from 6.30-pm at Pier 2/3, Millers Point.