The “Zoekinator” (“Searchinator”): a marvel invented by children with autism at the primary school BuBaO Sint-Idesbald (Belgium). University College students Ine Cappon, Ellen Knockaert and Lotte Vaernewyck, third year occupational therapy students at Howest made the design and made the machine in collaboration with the observation year of Secondary School Sint-Idesbald.
The child-inventors received and tested their “Searchinator” at their school. The basic idea behind this dream machine is that we often lose things, says one of the children. To solve this, we came up with a game that stimulates our search-skills.
The Searchinator therefore works according to the principle of hide and seek. All children gather in the base station and put on a fire helmet with sound receiver. Then they hide, with the exception of the child that needs to go out and seek the other ones. The quest can be played with or without blinding the helmet. The child that is looking for the other hidden children has a remote control that can trigger a sound in the helmets of the children she/he has to find. This way the seeking part of the game can be done more efficient and quicker. The hidden child wearing the helmet that suddenly makes noise, knows that she/he is the one being chased, so they might decide to quickly try and find a different hiding place. The game ends when everyone is found or when the set time has elapsed.
And how they loved the end-result! Congratulations to all students involved!
Because of the government measurements concerning covid-19, MyMachine Flanders & Brussels is unfortunately unable to organise a Grand Exhibition showing all elaborated dream machines. But luckily the schools and students were able to finish their work. So the working prototype could be delivered today. In stead of going to the exhibition, the finished working prototype goes directly to the primary school where the child-inventors can test the final result.
A big thank you to all students and educators involved for being so persistent and resilient in these peculiar times! Well done!