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Sensors 2016, 16(2), 231;

Grüt: A Gardening Sensor Kit for Children

DAD—Architecture and Design Department, Politecnico di Torino, Torino 10129, Italy
MediaLAB Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1091 RZ, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 24 December 2015 / Revised: 4 February 2016 / Accepted: 10 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Entertainment)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1282 KB, uploaded 16 February 2016]   |  


Food waste is one of the main problems in our society. This is mainly caused by people’s behaviors and attitudes, which influence the whole food chain, from production to final consumption. In fact, food is generally perceived as a commodity by adults, who transmit this behavior to children, who in turn do not develop any consciousness about food’s source. One way to reduce the problem seems to be by changing consumers’ attitudes, which develop during the early years of childhood. Research has shown that after attending school garden classes, children’s food-related behavior changes. Growing crops is not always easy—it can’t be done in the domestic space, and this lead to a loss of the long term positive effects. This paper presents a project that tries to teach children how to grow their own food indoors and outdoors, mixing real and virtual reality, connecting something natural like a plant to the Internet of Things (or IOT, a network of physical objects virtually connected to each other and to the web). The use of sensors related to an app makes this process more fun and useful for educational purposes. The aim of the project is to change children’s attitude towards food, increasing their knowledge about production and consumption, in order to reduce waste on a long term basis. The research has been developed in collaboration with Cisco NL and MediaLAB Amsterdam. The user testing has been executed with Dutch children in Amsterdam. View Full-Text
Keywords: gardening; children; Internet of Things; virtual avatars; the tamagotchi effect; educational gardening; children; Internet of Things; virtual avatars; the tamagotchi effect; educational

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Valpreda, F.; Zonda, I. Grüt: A Gardening Sensor Kit for Children. Sensors 2016, 16, 231.

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