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Location

Virtual Technology & Design

Physical Address:
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2481
Moscow, Idaho 83844-2481
E-mail: vtd@uidaho.edu


Phone: 208-885-5423

Fax: (208) 885-9429

University of Idaho Team wins at the Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge with Virtual BLOCK festTM

The U of I is proud to offer students the opportunity to take creative projects all the way from an initial idea to a finished product—and then get their work into production and use. Students on the Virtual BLOCK Fest™ team made a big step forward by winning first place in the Social or Cultural Impact Category at the 2018 Idaho Entrepreneur Challenge business plan competition, taking home a $12,000 prize.

Virtual BLOCK Fest™ is a combination of two apps, “Build with Buddy” and “Buddy’s World,” created by CAA design students. They are digital companions to BLOCK Fest®, a Twiga Foundation program based on early childhood research by the U of I College of Education. The research shows that playing with blocks helps young children build math and critical thinking skills needed for STEM subjects. Virtual BLOCK Fest™ uses mobile technology to make blockplay portable, so children can play and develop their skills wherever they are.



Virtual BlockFest Team members Nathan Buchheit, Brittnay Davis and Serendel MacPhereson hold an oversized check for $12,000, their first place prize.
Team members Nathan Buchheit, Brittnay Davis and Serendel MacPhereson
Buddy's World app asking child to build a bridge using virtual blocks
Build with Buddy is an educational app that helps children ages 1 to 8 learn to recognize shapes in everyday objects by playing with virtual blocks.
Buddy's World app with block bridge completed
The app was designed and created by U of I students, based on research showing that blockplay helps children get an early start on developing STEM skills.

Virtual BLOCK Fest™ is in its third year of development and is an outcome for the Virtual Technology and Design capstone design studio course. CAA students joined forces with Master of Accountancy student Brittany Davis to create a competitive business plan for the apps. The team will use a portion of their winnings to complete and publish “Build with Buddy” and “Buddy’s World” in conjunction with the Twiga Foundation.

Congratulations to the Virtual BLOCK Fest™ Team:

  • Nathan Buchheit, Andrea Graf, Dusan Jevtic, Virtual Technology and Design Senior Capstone students.
  • Serendel MacPhereson, Master of Integrated Architecture and Design student.
  • Brittnay Davis, Master of Accountancy student.

Faculty Advisers:

Twiga Foundation:

  • Patricia Kempthorne
  • Katie Bauer

Location

Virtual Technology & Design

Physical Address:
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2481
Moscow, Idaho 83844-2481
E-mail: vtd@uidaho.edu


Phone: 208-885-5423

Fax: (208) 885-9429