About this project
Endorsed and Supported by:
Orange County Register: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/kits-604065-khine-engineering.html
World Science Festival: http://worldsciencefestival.com/blog/six_great_kickstarter_projects_you_should_know_about_now
O'Reilly Media: https://www.kickstarter.com/pages/oreilly
The Einstein Foundation: http://einsteinium.org/a-hundred-tiny-hands-toys-for-your-brilliant-lil-inventor/
Young the Giant: https://www.facebook.com/youngthegiant
Blackstone Launchpad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhgLKvxsOMc
We use the coolest technologies developed in our nanotechnology lab to make toys for children to experience science in an engaging and interactive way!
The NEED for Educational Toys:
- The U.S. is ranked 52nd in STEM education (STEM = Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics)
- Americans pursuing advanced education in STEM fields is declining (More than 67% of engineers receiving Ph.D.’s in the U.S. are not U.S. citizens)
- Only 18% of engineers are female and current methods of teaching STEM topics predominantly focus on males
- K-12 students lose interest in STEM topics because of the steep learning curve and current methods of teaching
With Inventor Kits, children will be exposed to STEM exploration activities and games at a young age in an interactive, social setting such that they have incentives to stay engaged.
The 3 Inventor Kits
- A Hundred Tiny Hands offers 3 Inventor Kits to get children excited about STEM by fostering playful learning.
- Each kit comes with an easy to follow illustrated storybook with fun characters who explain otherwise 'complex science'.
- With the Tiny Hands Community, your children can participate in challenges and even invent their own Inventor Kit!
You are the engineer, making your own microscope! Mold your own optical lenses and add them to your cell phone for enhanced SuperVision! A fun way to learn about optics, engineering, and micro-imaging!
These superhydrobic plastics NEVER get wet! Kids are fascinated by this phenomenon and learn about water properties, surface tension, and nanotechnology. Guiding to water droplets across forbidden territories and getting their hands wet has never been more fun! Engineer your own superhydophobic tiles!
Did you know you can make electrical circuits with CONDUCTIVE DOUGH? Build your own Polytropolis CITY or whatever else you'd like and power it with electricity! Learning the fundamentalals of circuits and electricity has never been so easy! Game pieces are interchangeable and re-usable, allowing epic expansion of city layouts.
Tiny Hands Online Community
A Hundred Tiny Hands will soon be an online community that connects kids around the world, enabling a interactive learning environment, similar to scientists in real life. Learning challenges (with rewards) will be released to promote creative application of Inventor Kits.
Kids will have the opportunity to submit their own inventions and creations. Popular submissions will be selected to be sold through A Hundred Tiny Hands. The kid inventor of selected kits will get their own cartoon that will star in the books and on the boxes and the proceeds will go to them!
Buying an inventor kit gains access to a scientific community for your children to invent real products. Join the Tiny Hands movement and help us invent inventors!
Khine Lab Inspired Characters
Meet the Team
Michelle Khine: My love for science came from playing with my mom, who was a chemist. To me, that’s what science and engineering was: playing and making things (and occasionally, blowing things up!). So it is no great surprise that my childhood play inspired my most famous scientific/technical breakthroughs. Fortunately, I knew the boring, dry textbook learning was not real science…it was just what I had to suffer through until I could ‘grow up’ and play science full time.
The Team: We all share a love for science and engineering and believe that having fun is a major component of doing science. We come from all over the country, have different academic backgrounds, and enjoy a variety of activities such as rock climbing, surfing, and competing in triathlons. In a predominantly male field (> 80% men), we are proud to have a majority of women working in our lab. We hope to inspire both boys and girls to develop a love for science and engineering!
In 1959, preeminent physicist Richard Feynman heralded the coming of nanotechnology by proposing a provocative though experiment: what if you could make something that could make something smaller, that in turn could make something even smaller... how far could you go? Imagine the power of A Hundred Tiny Hands.
As a nanotechnology lab at the University of California, Irvine, we believe in the power of the small. We ask you to imagine the collective power of the little hands of our next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors. We need to inspire, nurture, and guide these little hands to do great things.
“Kids should have access to toys that are fun, open ended, expand their minds, and have the potential to provide inspiration in the years to come. The educational kits developed by A Hundred Tiny Hands do just that." -Gisela (Mother)
"I had so much fun watching my husband and daughter explore science together and it was interesting to me how my daughter became more intrigued in randomly talking about science and how things work with him later in the week.” -Holly (Mother and Educator)
"The moms especially loved the fact that there were many cool girls in your group. Pretty inspiring for the kids to see you all obviously loving what you do." -Joanne (Mother and Home School Organizer)
“The information and the way you present it to the students in your modules is so fun! I love that you embrace play - this is something I strive to encourage everyday with my students.” -Jen (Middle School STEM Teacher)
"I wish science had been this fun when I was a kid!" -Kathy (Mother)
"I learned you can make lenses from household items." -Young Inventor
"Some circuits are hard but fun!" -Young Inventor
A Hundred Tiny Hands is a co-op based out of the Khine Engineering Lab at UCI, and our technology is proprietary. Currently, our team is making every kit in the lab on our own time, and we invent/develop these kits in addition to working on our PhD projects. Your contribution from Kickstarter will help scale up our production of the current kits and provide resources for development of new kits. With your help, this project will be a success!
Production and Fulfillment Plan
We have multiple avenues for production, and our chosen manufacturer will depend upon the success of this Kickstarter.
Distribution of reward notebooks, T-shirts, and labcoats is estimated to take 1 month after Kickstarter is successful. Other rewards (such as lab tours, workshops, etc.) will be scheduled with the supporters after the success of Kickstarter.
The SuperVision Inventor Kit was inspired by a previous research project in the Khine Lab and has progressively developed into a lens that pairs with your cell phone to take high magnification images. The initial design was an array of micro sized lenses (~250um) to image biological cells with a microscope. This design was useful in a laboratory setting but was too small to attach to a cell phone camera. We increased the size of the lenses to match a cell phone, and now anyone can create their own microscope using the SuperVision Kit.
The magnification has also improved from the initial design. Magnification is determined by the shape of the lens, and the shape of the microlenses was created from a thick liquid polymer on the plastic shrink film. The interaction between these materials yielded flat shapes for lenses. Using our superhydrophobic surfaces though, we were able to create more spherical lens shapes with higher magnifications.
The SuperHydroTension Inventor Kit was developed from the Khine Lab's superhydrophobic surfaces. We wanted to inform the public about this unique phenomenon and its applications. After some thinking, we decided that it would be an excellent platform to teach children about surface tension and energies—a pretty abstract concept presented in textbooks. We incorporated fun in the kit by developing mazes that could represent these different types of surfaces: superhydrophobic, hydrophobic, and hydrophilic.
Our mazes designs were drawn using AutoCAD and then carried out using a technique developed in the lab. We improved upon the initial pieces by making the game pieces bigger (older edition shown on the left, newer on the right) and are working with manufacturers to make the pieces even bigger!
The development of Polytropolis and its game play is constantly ongoing and updated with feedback from users. Inspired by the conductive dough in Squishy Circuits, one of our favorite childhood toys (LEGO) and online curriculum regarding electricity, Polytropolis has undergone 4 major iterations. In the initial design, we wanted to create a board base inspired game with the use of conductive ink and LEDs. We then decided on a city theme, a common idea that children can relate to.
In the second iteration, we designed game pieces that children can glue down and connect circuits with conductive ink. The ink became too cumbersome and messy to work with though. As a result, we created our third iteration with game pieces that snap together magnetically and internally and are connected with conductive dough and wire. The fourth and current iteration removed the wires and replaced them with copper plates to streamline the design.
Scientific Research in the Khine Lab
The platform of our lab is the children's toy "Shrinky-Dinks." We use this toy to develop technologies in our lab, and now we're taking it full-circle by using our proprietary technology to develop children's toys. Our ultimate invention will be inventing the next generation of inventors.
Check out some of the awesome technologies developed in the Khine Lab and what Dr. Khine has to say about A Hundred Tiny Hands!
Risks and challenges
We are passionate about creating the next generation of inventors! Producing these kits is new to us, but we will learn from our experiences to continually improve our product.
We are currently working with manufacturers and have multiple avenues for production. With any production, unforeseeable circumstances can occur. We hope everything goes smoothly, but the contents of the product and delivery time may vary slightly from the Kickstarter advertisement. We welcome feedback and will keep you updated on our progress.
Our goal is to produce the highest quality products that inspire your young inventor to explore science. We welcome your feedback and would love to hear from you. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to an exciting future together!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
After the success of our KS, we will compile a follow up survey asking you for your information.
Yes, since KS is an all-or-nothing campaign, your card will not be charged until the KS is successful.
Yes, due to popular demand, we have added rewards shipping to all countries in Europe! Shipping to Canada is now FREE (to get free shipping, select the US shipping option)!
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