Fund This! A Coding Story for Kids, Artful Dice, Sci-Fest, and Mermaids!

Boy oh boy was it hard to choose this round of crowd funded campaigns to recommend this week. There are so many amazing projects out there right now! I did my best to show variety and functionality. What is beautiful, unique, and useful? I hope you enjoy my picks as much as I did!

helloruby
Image courtesy of Hello Ruby Kickstarter

Hello Ruby

This campaign is well past its funding goal, but I wanted to give everyone the chance to see it. You may be surprised to learn that I get annoyed every time someone says children need to be able to code. No they don’t. Not every child needs to be a programmer. I do feel strongly, however, that every child should be exposed to coding and have a basic understanding of the concepts and skills relevant to programming. The ability to understand, make decisions about, and modify technology for one’s own personal use is essential to successfully navigating the future. What I liked about Hello Ruby is its approach to logic and sequencing. It is an accessible entry point for young kids who will go on to be interested in programming, but I think it will also be quite enjoyable for kids who really draw the concept and logical thinking aspects out of it and use those skills for something else. You can tell that Linda Liukas was truly inspired by the wonderful stories of her homeland and wanted to bring that magic to teaching in a context that was comfortable and inspiring to most children.

 

0 Sci-Fest Poster[2]
Image courtesy of Sci-Fest
The 1st Annual Los Angeles Science Fiction One-Act Play Festival

I realize it appears that this one mostly benefits the LA area folks, but I don’t see it that way at all. Once funded, Sci-Fest will present two rotating evenings of one act plays, including Ray Bradbury’s “Kaleidoscope.” My hope is that not only will I get a chance to see Sci-Fi in a real, raw, human display of excellent writing, but also, if it is successful, it can be duplicated nationwide. Given the people behind this one, I am betting it can happen.

 

dice
Photo courtesy of Darkness Sequel

Rhythm Metal Gaming Dice

This is another campaign that is funded but LOOK AT THOSE DICE. They are gorgeous. I wouldn’t even need to play with them, they would make an exceptional art piece displayed in a wooden bowl. Fortunately, they also have stretch goals, which expand your choices.

mermaid
Image courtesy of Project Mermaids

 

Project Mermaids

This project captured my attention for two reasons: first, MERMAIDS. Gorgeous, realistic, sexy, complex photographs of mermaids. Second, this project is trying to raise money and awareness around the human impact we are having on one of our most valuable resources: the ocean. While it may not be news to you that we are continuing to damage our seas at an alarming rate, perhaps the production of this art book and show will reintroduce some of the magic you see when you look into the water.

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