Most people can recall a school project that had a lasting impact, whether it was a topic that really interested them or a project they put extra effort into. My most memorable school project was making a pinhole camera when I was eleven years old. I found the process fascinating and the results thrilling. To this day, photography remains a favourite hobby.
When I saw the BigShot project my immediate thought was “Lucky, lucky kids!”. BigShot is about cameras, education, sharing ideas and learning in a whole new way.
Cameras provide a great way to express ourselves, however for the most part, they’re designed for adults. The BigShot designers, Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski, recognised that a camera designed for kids can be much more than just a toy and can be used as a means of engaging children in science. As such, the BigShot camera comes in bits, ready to be assembled by students. In building the camera, students get hands-on exposure to science and engineering concepts including optics, mechanics, image processing and more. Once the camera is assembled, students can get creative, composing and taking photographs.
BigShot has been designed to reach a very large audience. The cameras are inexpensive to make and come with simple software tools that enable school students to download, view and share their photos.
The designers eventually hope to create an online community of students from various schools around the world who can share their photos and stories. Currently there are kids participating in the US, Vietnam and India – have a look at some examples of their work in the gallery – truly remarkable given that some of the photographers are just six years old. The images below are by: HaGiang, aged 14, from Vietnam; Anirudh, aged 12, from India; and Akash, aged 6, from New York.
The BigShot project is still in development and not is yet on sale, but we’ll keep you posted.