Project Interactions

Project Interactions Logo


Overview

Project Inter-Actions, led by Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers at the Eliot-Pearson Dept. of Child Development, is a research program that examines the many interactions that exist when parents and young children are brought together in a learning environment fostered by new technologies. In particular, Project Interactions exposes children and parents to experiences that enable them to program and build a robotic toy with Lego pieces and art materials to represent an aspect of the family's cultural heritage. The project's name stems from the different types of interactions looked at throughout the research:

  1. Interactions between adults and children together learning something that is new for both, such as robotic technology, and something that they are immersed into, such as their own cultural background,
  2. Interactions between abstract programming concepts and concrete building blocks,
  3. Interactions between ideas of what is developmentally appropriate and what children can and can not do with technology at such early age, and
  4. Interactions between technology, art, and culture, areas of the curriculum that computers have the potential to integrate.

Research

Questions

These are some of the research questions we are currently exploring:

  1. Parent/child relationships: How do parents and children work together, learn from each other, collaborate, take different roles, etc.?
  2. Technological fluency: How do parents and children develop technological skills and concepts and learn to become familiar with different technologies and ways of thinking about technology?
  3. Cultural fluency: How do parents and children work together to explore their own cultural heritage and to decide on a project to work on?
Related Research

Project Con-Science: http://web.media.mit.edu/~calla/projects/con-science/


Family Projects

We keep pictures and writings about the projects that our participants make. The words you see here are the writings of our participants providing their reflections on Project Inter-Actions. Please select to learn about a particular workshop:
> Pilot study, Spring 2003
> Parent-Child Saturday Workshops, Spring 2004
> Children Saturday Workshops, Spring 2004
> Parent-Child Sunday Workshops, Spring 2004
> Children Sunday Workshops, Spring 2004
> Eliot Pearson Children's School Workshops, Spring 2004


Resources

Resources

General Information

Project Interactions runs workshops for young children and their families. In the Spring of 2003, we completed a workshop for four- and five-years and their parents where we explored cultural values using Lego technology. In the Spring of 2004 we ran four seperate workshops to better understand the roles that parents and technology can play in cultural awareness.

More information about past workshops is available in our flyers:
Parent-Child Workshops | Children only Workshops


Location

The Curriculum Lab is located in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, on the Tufts University Medford/Somerville Campus. The main phone number of the department is 617-627-3355.

Directions to Eliot-Pearson:

| from southwest, west or northwest | from boston, the south and the south shore | from the north | via public transportation |

Directions from the Southwest, West or Northwest

Via Routes 2, 3, 9; Interstate 95; or the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90), the easiest approach to the campus is to turn from any of these routes onto the circumferential route 128 (Interstate 95) and proceed to its intersection with Route 2 (exit 29A). Proceed east on Route 2 to the junction of Routes 2 and 16, and turn onto Route 16 east (Alewife Brook Parkway). Follow Route 16 through several full traffic lights, past Massachusetts Avenue, Broadway and Powderhouse Boulevard (you will see signs for Tufts University, but don't turn until you reach the light at Boston Avenue). Take a right onto Boston Avenue and go through two sets of lights, until you come to a flashing yellow light at College Avenue; there is a post office on the corner. Turn left over the train bridge onto College Avenue. You will see Cousens Gymnasium and Hamilton Pool on your left. Eliot-Pearson is further down on the left, past the new Gantcher fieldhouse, at 105 College Avenue. There are visitor parking spaces in the Cousens lot across the street from our building (turn left as you ener the lot). Occasionally, guest parking is available behind our building. Please come to the main office and ask for a guest parking permit.

Directions from Boston, the South, and the South Shore:

Follow the Southeast Expressway (Route 3 north) to interstate 93 north to exit 31 (Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16). Follow the exit ramp to Medford Square. At the blinking light at the end of the ramp, turn left onto Main Street. Follow Main Street to a fork in the road; stay to the right and continue on Main Street (past a Mobile station and Dunkin Donuts) to a blinking yellow light at George Street. Turn right onto George Street and take the next left onto College Avenue. Eliot-Pearson is on the right, past the Tufts University sign, at 105 College Avenue. There are visitor parking spaces in the Cousens lot across the street from our building (turn left as you enter the lot). Occasionally, guest parking is available behind our building. Please come to the main office and ask for a guest parking permit.

Directions from the North:

Via Routes 1, 3, or 28, or Interstates 95 or 93, the recommended approach is via the circumferential Route 128 (Interstate 95) to its intersection with Interstate 93. Go south on Interstate 93 to exit 32, Medford Square. Proceed to the center of Medford Square and bear left onto Main Street. Follow Main Street to a fork in the road; stay to the right and continue on Main Street (past a Mobile station and Dunkin Donuts) to a blinking yellow light at George Street. Turn right onto George Street and take the next left onto College Avenue. Eliot-Pearson is on the right, past the Tufts University sign, at 105 College Avenue. There are visitor parking spaces in the Cousens lot across the street from our building (turn left as you ener the lot). Occasionally, guest parking isavailable behind our building. Please come to the main office and ask for a guest parking permit.

Via Public Transportation:

Take the Red Line to Davis Square in Somerville. Exit to the left of the turnstiles and follow the exit signs to College Avenue. At street level, you may either walk (20 minutes) or take the bus (5-7 minutes) up College Avenue. Bus schedules are available online at www.mbta.com.

Walking: As you exit the Davis stop, cross to the other side of College Avenue. Keeping the Store 24 on your left, walk uphill. After 7-10 minutes, you will arrive at the Powderhouse rotary in Powderhouse Square. Cross Broadway and Powderhouse Boulevard, keeping the rotary on your right. You will begin to see signs for Tufts University and the campus fields and track. Keep Tufts on your left as you continue up College Avenue, past Mstrongorial Steps, to the intersection of College and Boston Avenues. You will see a post office and a train bridge across the street. Cross over the train bridge and continue past Cousens Gymnasium and Hamilton Pool on your left. Eliot-Pearson is further down on the left, past the new Gantcher fieldhouse, at 105 College Avenue.

Bus: Take the #94 or 96 to the top of College Avenue in Medford, across the street from Tufts Mstrongorial Steps. Staying on College Avenue, cross Boston Avenue and over the train bridge. You will see Cousens Gymnasium and Hamilton Pool on your left. Eliot-Pearson is further down on the left, past the new Gantcher fieldhouse, at 105 College Avenue.


People

If you have any questions, please contact:

Project Head
Marina Umaschi Bers
marina.bers@tufts.edu

Research Assistant
Laura Boudreau
laura.boudreau@tufts.edu