Shree Nayar's digital camera kit, a hit with kids everywhere

17th November 2013
Shree Nayar's digital camera kit, a hit with kids everywhere
Kids with the Bigshot digital camera. Inset: Shree Nayar

November 17, 2013: A build-it-yourself  digital camera project of an Indian-origin computer science teacher  in the US, is being  hailed in educational circles for nurturing tthe engineering creativity of young children everywhere. Bigshot was created by Shree Nayar, a Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. He worked with a team of contractors and with  a group of gifted students to build the first set of working prototypes. The first prototypes developed at Columbia University were used to conduct field tests with a few hundred children in four cities – New York City in the US, Bangalore in India, Vung Tau in Vietnam and Tokyo in Japan. The testers were children between the ages of 8 and 14 years, and from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. The field tests were a great success
In 2011, 
Shree Nayar founded Kimera, LLC, a social venture with the goal of getting Bigshot in the hands of kids and camera enthusiasts all over the world. While Kimera focuses on this educational website, the camera is manufactured and distributed worldwide by EduScience in Hong Kong, a leading maker of educational toys and kits. EduScience brought the camera to market in August 2013. Kimera uses a part of its royalties from sales to donate Bigshots to children in under-served and under-represented communities across the globe
Bigshot offers you three distinct experiences. (a) Learn: While assembling it you can use the descriptions, illustrations and demonstrations on this website to learn fundamental concepts in optics, mechanics, electromagnetism, electronics and image processing. (b) Create: Once assembled, use Bigshot to tap into your creative potential as a photographer. You can compose and capture moments from your everyday life, while experimenting with framing, lighting and motion. (c) Express: You can share your favorite photos and related stories with others in different communities or even different countries
The Bigshot project at Columbia was partly funded by a Google research award and an ONR Instrumentation Grant.

It can be bought online for US $ 89 and is sold in India by the Croma chain of shops.

Read the BBC story here