A Kit for Organisms to promote personalized STEAM learning.

Team & Collaboration

Project Microsoft Research

Helene Steiner, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK
Seokbin Kang, University Washington, USA
Asta Roseway, Microsoft Research, Redmond, USA
Richard Banks, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK

Hybrid systems between biology and computation to study living organisms have demonstrated potential in promoting children’s science experience and better understanding of their actions on the environment. However, these systems offer limited interactions between the user and the biological subject caused by inflexible equipment and missing possibilities to interfere with the biological subject through an interface. We present GrowKit, a digital/physical construction kit for living organisms that enables children to personalize their own experiments in biology. Our findings suggest that the comprehensive scaffolding offered by storytelling cards, experimental building blocks and remote lab software allows young learners to explore a broad range of biological ideas and conduct personally meaningful experiments, and promotes engagement and curiosity in children. We present GrowKit, a digital/physical construction toolkit for biology that provides young learners with playful STEM experience of designing, making, and conducting experiments.


Helene Steiner, Seokbin Kang, Asta Roseway, and Richard Banks. 2018. GrowKit: A Kit for Organisms to Promote Personalized STEAM Learning. In Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper VS13, 1 pages. DOI:



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