GoGo Board Toolkit

Compassion and Empathy through Inventions: GoGo Board Toolkit for 7-10 years old

Thanapornsangsuth, S. (2016). Compassion and empathy through inventions: GoGo Board Toolkit for 7-10 years old.Proceedings of Constructionism 2016: Bangkok, Thailand. [PDF] [Poster]

Download here: Complete Design Specification

GoGo board toolkit is a hardware-embedded curriculum designed to teach children aged 7-10 years old (grade 2-5) the concept of compassion and empathy through inventions. The toolkit is inspired by stories that adults read out loud to their loved ones. Many storybooks are interactive but not so many engender proactive behaviors from the young readers. Storybooks in GoGo Board toolkit aims to help young children observe and understand the problems of others. With support from adults, children can construct original inventions that help others solve their problems using GoGo Board, scrap or prototype materials, and their imagination. The main objective is to inspire children to be active social inventors who can see the problems of others or themselves and be eager to solve them.



GoGo Board Toolkit

The GoGo Board toolkit is comprised of four main objects:

  1. Adult Guidebook (printed and/or digital) are for parents, teachers, or caregivers as an introductory guide to GoGo board, as well as some suggestions of how GoGo board can be taught to their children or students. The guidebook introduces the following topics: (1) Introduction to GoGo Board, (2) Coding with GoGo Board, (3) Guideline and ideas to facilitate children learning and making process in constructionist manner. The guidebook comes with Program Control Mats and a deck of function cards, sensor cards, and actuator cards that would teach children about each input and output in a fun and experimental manner.

Download Adult Guidebook HERE

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GoGo Sensor and Actuator Cards

Program Control Mat


2. “Tommy and the Inventor” storybook (printed and/or digital) for adults to read out loud to children. The book helps children to understand different kind of sensors by inviting them to help the main character by choosing the right sensors. At the end of the book, children are encouraged to write their own stories. See how it works HERE


3. “I am an Inventor: Family Edition,” or a creator storybook (printed) guides the children to invent for people in their families. It’s a combination of: (1) story book, (2) drawing and coloring book, and (3) basic guidelines for using GoGo Board. It allows the children to personalize their inventions and ask them to write problem statements to solve the given problems. The book encourages children to start programming with GoGo Board, create prototypes of automatic devices, and test their inventions out. Adult guidance is highly encouraged.

Download “I am an Inventor: Family Edition” HERE


4. Blank book (printed and/or digital) for the children to create their own narratives. Children can write, draw, or animate original stories from their own experience, imagination, or even stories from others. The stories must include the problem that they want to solve. Then they will build automatic devices using GoGo Board to solve the particular problems.

Download HERE

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  1. Learning Goals
    1. The ability to understand basic functions of the GoGo Board and start programming and tinkering with it.
    2. The ability to initiate creative and meaningful physical computing projects of their own using resources that are available to them and the GoGo Board. My hope is to see the inventions that children can continually surprise themselves and people around them. Within the process of designing and coming up with tangible products to solve the problems that interest them, the children need to tinker, encounter obstacles, make mistakes, and experience disappointing results. Being able to persevere, manage frustration, think creatively and work with others are valuable skills that can be generated through making with GoGo Board.
    3. The ability to see the problem and figure out how to solve it in a structural and logical manner. Inspired by Papert’s Mindstorms (1993) the design believes that kids learn most effectively when they try to solve problems where they are genuinely interested in the outcome of the problem.
    4. Engaging in constructive social and emotional interactions especially in compassion and empathy in the narratives. Moreover, the process of making can be a social experience that children learn to interact and work with others with respect.

    The learning goal for the adults:

    1. Be able to gain confidence in technology to the level that they can facilitate the children to use GoGo Board.

Oh Noah! Family Activities Toolkit

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Oh Noah! is an animated series aims to introduce children ages 4-7 to Spanish language through the comic misadventures of nine-year-old Noah. I designed three of seven activities in Oh Noah! Family Activities Guide to teach Spanish and promote family engagement. The toolkits were distritubed to thousands communities nationwide.



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Sesame Street’s Make Believe with MATH Online Professional Development Course


As a content intern at US Social Impact department, I had a chance to explore more on children’s media educational outreach in informal learning context (family and community) and send social messages to caregivers. I assisted project manager in content research, editing, and design “Make Believe with Math”, Sesame Workshop’s first online professional development course on Google Course Builder platform teaching pre-school math and pretend play for educators and care givers nationwide. http://makebelievewithmath.sesamestreet.org/first/course

This course highlights the importance of math and make-believe play in children’s development, and helps teachers explore how they can integrate math moments into everyday pretend play.

  • In Unit 1, we provide a brief overview of the research highlighting the importance of math in early childhood, along with some key math language and ways to find math moments in everyday play.
  • In Unit 2, we identify math concepts that can be explored using everyday classroom materials and discuss opportunities to adapt your environment to meet math goals.
  • In Unit 3, we focus on the research and best practices around supporting pretend play, and explore the factors of pretend play that can serve as tools for math learning.
  • In Unit 4, you will practice integrating math concepts into children’s pretend play using a case study and your own learning setting.

I also conducted research around professional development regulations and Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Educators to support the integration of Make Believe with Math into statewide systems in the U.S. I contacted State Offices of Early Childhood and Head Start State Directors to discuss this online professional development program and to support Sesame Street’s collaboration with these partners.

Some screenshots of the course:


Discussion board for educators worldwide.


Some activities tips


More PDF for activity ideas for educators and care givers.


Examples of children’s pretend play


Some case studies to integrate math in children’s pretend play.