About the Hook-ups Initiative

In the Hook-ups initiative, young people learn by designing and constructing Hook-ups - physical objects that can control games, animations, and other computer programs they create. Hook-ups can be modified versions of traditional computer interfaces (e.g., joysticks) or entirely new types of interfaces (e.g., a spaceship steering wheel). In creating Hook-ups, young people learn to integrate virtual media with familiar materials from the world around them. In the process, they gain confidence and motivation to explore topics within fields such as interface design, programming, and physics.

[read more about Hook-ups in some of my publications]

Some examples

Work from the Hook-ups initiative led to the Scratch Sensor Board / Picoboard.

On the Scratch Website, several users have graciously documented processes they used to build Hook-up infterfaces to their Scratch projects. The project links below will give you a glimpse into how several project linked physical creations to Scratch projects through sensor boards.

Sensor boards give users ways to monitor different aspects of the physical environemt. For example, they can detect changes in a room's lighting. The examples above show how everyday materials can interact with sensor boards to create unique physical computer interfaces. One can also extend what's already on a computer, such as a keyboard, with physical materials to control programs. One such example is documented online at instructables.com.



(c)opyright 2008 Amon Millner