An educational platform dedicated to alternative energy education.
- Responsibilities: Company founder and educational developer
- Target Audience: Primary and secondary schools, makerspaces, and parents
- Tools Used: A variety of digital and physical prototyping, testing and manufacturing tools
- Budget: High
- Client: Maakotheek, Port of Rotterdam, Design Museum, 1000’s of parents
- Year: 2014 – 2020
As an Industrial Designer with over a decade of experience designing products for various furniture brands, I have developed a strong specialization in low-energy LED lighting. During my tenure in this field, my interest in designing and prototyping electrical circuits grew, leading me to acquire practical, hands-on skills in electronics development. This newfound passion motivated me to shift my focus towards educational design, where I saw the potential to create tools that could facilitate fun and memorable learning experiences for learners of all backgrounds.
During my research, I examined the disparity between scientific theories and practical hands-on experiences. While we have always been cautioned against “playing with electricity,” I believe that such experiences can be highly educational. To this end, I established a small team and collaborated with students and educators from around the world to design objects and experiments that would facilitate hands-on learning. We designed workshops that were influenced by Sugata Mitra’s SOLE (Self-Organized Learning Environment) methodology, allowing students to learn collaboratively in a structured setting. Our work revealed a pressing need for educators to have access to affordable tools that can help them teach 21st-century learning skills.
To address this need, we created an initial prototype that was both simple and cost-effective—an induction circuit that allowed students to experiment with small currents of electricity generated from everyday objects. With this circuit, students were able to generate batteries from waste material, design circuits with play-doh, and ultimately create objects powered by their electricity experiments.
Developing Educational Tools
From a simple circuit to an educational product that measures and harnesses different forms of energy, the Qmod Energy Block was born! The Qmod Energy Block is an educational product that enables users to measure and harness various forms of energy. Designed to be user-friendly, the Energy Block allows anyone to easily capture energy from different sources, such as biological or mechanical energy. Once fully charged, users can conduct experiments, play games, and even create new objects, all powered by the energy they have learned to harness.
Our team not only developed the Qmod Energy Block but also created educational content in various formats, such as videos, teaching guides, illustrated instructions, playing cards, and educational games. Our approach involved developing learning experiences through several focus groups hosted at local makerspaces. Each focus group allowed our team to iterate, refine and re-test content until it became intuitive, effective, and enjoyable for the participants.
MVP to Mass Production
Our team received funding from EOn Agile, an accelerator and seed investor, which enabled us to develop the initial line of products into an educational platform. Our platform includes hardware, software, and other educational content that emphasizes the accessibility of sustainable energy. Our clients include the Science Museum in London, the Port of Rotterdam, German utility company EOn, and various educational institutions in Germany, Italy, and Holland.