Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
The Ifs project: Tangible programming for 3-aged children
Explain your project in details:
The Ifs is an educational game for children to learn programming. The game contains a 4-members robotic family (Liam, Holly, Emma and Noah) who interact each other thanks to electronic playing blocks. Each of them has a different behavior and a star movement. Discovering how they act is another entertainment of the game. The Ifs is the first educational toy to teach children from 3 years how to program. It is a family of 4 robots with sensors and actuators which are programmable through simple pieces (if - then), using a new method of interaction, without screens called tangible programming. Children can use all their creativity while developing logical thinking, attributes necessary for the new industrial revolution. We want children to no longer be mere users of technology and become the inventors of the next world. To establish the rules and make the interplay possible, The Ifs have a hole in the top of their heads so as to put the thematic game cards in. One of them indicates the condition (IF), and the other one indicates the consequence (THEN). This manner, the child orders how he wants the robots to interact each other. Thanks to the members family sensors and actuators, they are able to vibrate, emit sounds, project images... And much more! Do you imagine how many stories can be created? The game brings thematic blocks packs about colors, animals, musical instruments... So children create the playing rules according to them and their imagination. They have fun learning to code and being storytellers.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Investing in education is a good choice. Children have the ability to learn very fast, but they should to have fun at the same time and find attractive the activity. Thanks to the game kids improve the following areas: - Logical thinking: After 3 years, children begin to understand the symbols and they are able to think reasonably before acting. Children can establish the game rules and conditions in a very fun way and see for themselves how each member of the family obeys their orders. - Creativity: The Ifs allow a very dynamic game thanks to the coding blocks and all the possibilities of interaction. The diversity of options let the child to enhance their imagination, evaluate all the chances and choose on his own. Kids will become the creators of their own stories. - Socialization: This family of robots sets dialogues up to interact each other. Children can establish these relationships thanks to the game's pieces. The reflection of this communication is a very positive value for the children to understand the importance of knowing how to express themselves and how to communicate their emotions to others correctly. - Robotics and science: If we always play the same game, we will always learn the same lesson, that is why it is so important that during childhood children try different play activities such as robotics, which integrates disciplines as varied as mechanics, electronics, mathematics or programming. Let's challenge the children to ask new questions! - Ready for future: With Emma, Liam, Holly and Noah they will develop their analytical skills and logical thinking with no screens. In addition, they will establish the bases for the scientific studies that they will study in the future. - Multisensory: The Ifs are able to vibrate, emit sounds, project images... All their actions focus on stimulating the children's senses.
Sustainability and future plans
Our goal is to produce a thousand units of toys and sell the game around the world. The philosophy of Los Ifs can adapt to any culture and has to fill a gap in houses where children live. Creating the robotic family is just the beginning. The next step is to extend the life of The Ifs, we want to connect the robots with the mobile device to increase the functionality and transform The Ifs into eternal friends. Another objective we follow is to introduce the game in schools and educational associations. These toys are an essential key for the cognitive development of the child during childhood, that is why currently we make toy exhibitons to study the reaction of children and based on results, keep working in the game improvements.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Esther Borao Moros, the team representative, is a Spanish Industrial Engineer specialized in Automatics and Robotics. She studied at the University of Zaragoza and completed his studies at Warsaw University of Technology and the University of Seville. During a year, she was working at a TV show, El Hormiguero where she built a robot and it was showed in the TV Show. Esther created Innovart in 2017, an enterprise focused on technology from different points of view: education, artistic projects and personalized electronic. Currently, she is also co-founder of the project The Ifs, a toy that has received several awards such as Ideas Camp 2017 or Yuzz Zaragoza 2017. On the other hand, she has been organizing Arduino Day Zaragoza for 4 years, two years organizing Women Tech Makers, a Google initiative that promotes women and technology, and she teaches technology to children and to see it as something easy and accessible.