Frequently Asked Questions...

How do you choose the team's child design partners?
We look for local Maryland children who are excited about technology, enjoy collaborating with other children and aren't afraid of working hard with adults.  Our child partners need to be reflective, verbal, but don't need to have a lot of experience with technology. (They also have to have parents willing to drive them to our lab twice a week, every week.)
 

How long do your child design partners stay with the team?
It depends on the child.  Three of our child partners have now been with the team for almost 2 years.  Other partners have had to leave after a year due to family relocation.  Ideally, our child partners will stay for at least a year or for as long as they would like to be with the team (up to age 11).  When a team position does become avaliable, we have a waiting-list of children who will be interviewed (FYI Interested Parents: our waiting list is now for the year 2005)
 

Do your child design partners get paid like the adults?
Yes, sort of... Each year, our children sign a "contract" with the team, that says that they agree to work with the team for a year, in exchange for year-end gift.  Last year children received for their work CD-Walkmen, Gameboys, or LEGO watches.
 

Can children really do everything adults do as technology design partners?
The answer is no.  But then adults can not do everything that children can do.  All that we ask is that every partner, young or old, do what they can to contribute to the team.  Our child design partners have been technology designers, builders, critcs, and more.
 

How can we work with your team?
We welcome collaboration with industry, government and university partners. For some projects, we help test prototypes... for others, we help brainstorm new design directions... and for others, we help people learn how to work with their own design team of kids. For more information on how to work with our team, please contact Professor Allison Druin: allisond@umiacs.umd.edu or call +1 301 405 7406
 

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