StoryMakAR: Bringing Stories to Life with an Augmented Reality & Physical Prototyping Toolkit for Youth

by | Apr 9, 2020

Authors: Terrell Glenn, Ananya Ipsita, Caleb Carithers, Kylie Peppler, Karthik Ramani
In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Makerspaces can support educational experiences in prototyping for children. Storytelling platforms enable high levels of creativity and expression, but have high barriers of entry. We introduce StoryMakAR, which combines making and storytelling. StoryMakAR is a new AR-IoT system for children that uses block programming, physical prototyping, and event-based storytelling to bring stories to life. We reduce the barriers to entry for youth (Age=14-18) by designing an accessible, plug-and-play system through merging both electro-mechanical devices and virtual characters to create stories. We describe our initial design process, the evolution and workflow of StoryMakAR, and results from multiple single-session workshops with 33 high school students. Our preliminary studies led us to understand what students want to make. We provide evidence of how students both engage and have difficulties with maker-based storytelling. We also discuss the potential for StoryMakAR to be used as a learning environment for classrooms and younger students.

Terrell Glenn

Terrell Glenn

Terrell Glenn is a Ph.D student in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University as a National GEM Consortium Fellow. Prior to joining the C Design Lab, Terrell received a B.S. in Physics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia (2016). While at Morehouse, he has conducted research in swarm robotics as part of a Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) in accordance with NASA, and worked as a Platform Analysis Intern at Intel Corporation. His current research interests include robotics and robotic systems, product design, and implementing the aforementioned topics into childhood education. More information about Terrell can be found on his website at