The Extraordinaires® Design Studio is an incredibly educational game that will get you and your kids inventing, thinking of original solutions to problems. Getting kids (and adults) to come up with brand new inventions for off-the-wall needs really gets them to think creatively and solve problems that they have never considered. It fosters discussion among the players, since they could ask for advice, or comment on others’ inventions. Plus, players will inevitably be inspired by the other designs, perhaps giving them more ideas for future inventions.
The kit comes with Extraordinaire character cards, 15 Object cards, 30 Think cards, a 50-sheet idea pad and a drawing pen all conveniently tucked inside a laptop-style case. It is a must-have creative resource that encourages children to use 21st Century critical play skills, such as observation, empathy, creativity, design, question creation, problem solving, storytelling, iteration of ideas and collaboration or sharing of ideas.
Choose one Extraordinaire to design for and an object to design for that character. Read and review the Extraordinaire’s Character card to learn something about him/her, the world he/she lives in and some specific needs (or wants) he/she may have.
Take your design to the next level by asking the right questions. The Think cards are divided into three categories – Research, Design and Improve and provide an idea-building framework similar to the ones used by designers in the real world.
Finally, present your creation to fellow players. There are Award cards that can be presented. The player with the most Award cards wins. The Extraordinary Invention Gallery features a collection of wonderful, inventive, bizzare and extraordinary things created by clever people all over the world.
Each Extraordinaire is a persona of an archetypal character that children will recognise. We have all read books and watched movies about pirates, wizards, fairies, robots and we can easily imagine the worlds they live in.
Each Extraordinaire is also an amplification of human needs. The Pirate has a hook hand – this is like someone with a physical disability or prosthesis. The Vampire Teen has to spend day light hours indoors – this is like someone living with a medical condition. The Wizard needs a walking stick and glasses, just like many elderly people. The technique used in developing the characters is called ‘Personas’. Personas are used by design and engineering professionals to empathise with the users of the products they are designing and to help solve design questions in the development cycle.
By recognising the needs of the Extraordinaire characters and inventing products for them, it is our hope that children will recognise when they are
problem solving in the real world.
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LEGO, the LEGO logo, DUPLO, SOFT, and MINDSTORMS Education logos; the Brick and Knob configurations and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group.
© 2017 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved.
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