To Create is to Be Open to New Experiences

By Qing Hua, CEO

In July of 2020, a group of students ages 8–13 joined a week-long Creative Character Development summer course organized by Toys2Life and Build a Robot K12, led by Isaac Davenport (technologist and entrepreneur) and Bird Marathe (writer and creative writing instructor). Together, the group used the Toys2Life platform to write, code and voice act talking characters capable of interacting with each other. This group enjoyed working with each other so much that the one-week course was quickly extended to two weeks. We’d never expanded that class to so many lessons before, but by that point, both the parents and the students were willing to move forward with something exciting and new. After the summer, they continued to meet weekly and create. 

In October, additional students joined. The group created a shared fictional universe called Purple Shore and populated it with dozens of characters using the Toys2Life software. Since then, the group, which came to be known as the “Purple Shore Club,” recorded over a thousand lines of dialogue, learned about JavaScript Object Notation and video game design, worked on creative writing, played games, grew as a community, and learned social-emotional skills! 

In December, to celebrate their five months of collaboration, the students made a Purple Shore movie—the first movie made with Toys2Life. Every team member contributed, using their individual skills and software such as Scratch, TinkerCAD, WeVideo, and Soundtrap. 

In January of 2021, Slack was introduced to the Purple Shore Club. This allowed students to collaborate outside of club hours on a safe, instructor-moderated platform, and allowed parents to join in on the fun.

We had no idea back in July that a two-week course would lead to more than half a year of collaboration, or that it would expand to incorporate so many of our students’ skills and interests. We’re still going strong, too. Without the support of the parents in this community, we wouldn’t have been able to facilitate such deep, long-term learning! We are grateful to this community for their openness to new experiences, including the Purple Shore Club.

If you’re interested in learning more about Toys2Life, please check out this course. Or try one class for free – sign up here. Check out Purple Shore and Why Toys2Life is Fun

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- Author -

QING HUA

Founder & CEO

Qing is passionate about fusing education, technology, industry, diversity, and human empathy to make this world a better place through education. Before starting Build a Robot K12, Qing worked in the telecommunication industry for 15 years as a senior engineer, engineering manager, and a product manager. Qing holds a MBA and a MS in Telecommunication from University of Colorado at Boulder, a MA in Communications from University of Delaware, and a BS in Electronics Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. She currently serves on the Colorado Department of Education Gifted Education State Advisory Committee. Outside of work, Qing enjoys books, new tech, music, the outdoors, and exploring new places and cultures.

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