A first grade girl showed me a computer she had made out of paper yesterday. I am trying to keep an eye out for examples of spontaneous engineering that young children engage in. I asked her if I could copy her computer. The computer consisted of a large sheet of paper folded in half just like a laptop folds with a keyboard on the bottom and the screen on top.
I heard that this girl was looking for me today so when I went to see her, she gave me her second computer that she specifically made for me last night! I was very happy and gave her a hug. It is interesting to me how children really love it when we really notice the cool things they are doing. The model she made for me (see below) appears to be more of a copy of an iBook than her first model, which did not have a QWERTY keyboard. This one was very accurate. (Note that the screen is not completely scanned in.) I am very interested in these examples of kid engineering and how they are encouraged or discouraged over time by teachers and other adults.