Photo by Steve Rogers

Photo by Steve Rogers SXSWedu Playground Display photo by Steven Snow SXSWedu Playground Hands On photo by Randy & Jackie Smtih

The Playground provides a destination for attendees to explore, discover, participate and learn with like-minded individuals. Fueled by innovation through discovery, the Playground hosts a number of educational pursuits highlighting maker, STEM, gaming, virtual learning, accessibility, arts integration and more.

The wall-to-wall creative energy within the SXSWedu Playground comes from the various elements that take place in the space, including displays, talks and hands-on presentations.

Playground Talks

Catch a 30-minute Playground Talk to hear industry insiders deliver a short stage presentation highlighting discovery-based learning activities followed by a dynamic audience Q&A.

Playground Hands On

Join a Playground Hands On to collaborate and learn with others. Presenters will facilitate a 30-minute instructional and interactive exercise or activity.

Playground Displays

Playground Displays allow organizations to share their educational approaches and innovations with the SXSWedu community. Displays are up and running throughout the duration of the Playground and offer attendees the opportunity to engage in participatory activities in a casual, conversational setting.

Dallas Independent School District (DISD), Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation (CADRE), HKS

A sensory design pod to explore the future of learning spaces via hands on interaction and real time data capture and visualization. Display will also include research-based insights from high school students on personalized learning.

East Austin College Prep

Cultivating a service-learning model for your own school or community organization. Our goal is to build a greater sense of civic responsibility and strengthen community involvement for all.

EdX Lab

EdX Lab

Through augmented and virtual reality, we bring to life a diverse collection of projects consisting of interactive examples of academic activities inspired by our tech pedagogy and curriculum design.

Photo courtesy HouseStories, Inc

HouseStories, Inc.

HouseStories Jr Architect Studio will give you an intuitive understanding of how construction, materials and climate are related. Have fun with our construction kits to discover the untapped learning potential made possible by exploring our 3D world.

Photo courtesy of IMATS

IMATS at Barnard College, Columbia University

Immerse yourself in ballet, modern, hip-hop and tap dance performances through IMATS at Barnard College's use of VR/360 video. Experience choreographed performances from one of the top dance programs in the country through VR/360 video.

Photo courtesy of The James Dyson Foundation

The James Dyson Foundation

Roll up your sleeves and get-hands on with the James Dyson Foundation’s reverse-engineering kit! Tear apart a Dyson vacuum and learn how Dyson engineers used the design process to create this machine.

Photo courtesy of Museum in a Box

Museum in a Box

Explore objects from around world through Museum in a Box. Learn how to use museum materials to enhance classes and find great historical content to help students everywhere see the world. Discuss ideas, solutions and more with Museum in a Box!

Photo courtesy of n2y


Visit n2y to experience the latest in special education learning. Our interactive curriculum, current events newspaper and symbol set make teaching easy and fun! See how we make a difference for all learners!

Immersive Experience Lab

Immersive Experience Lab

The Tangible Coding research team is directed by Dr. Derek Ham out of NC State’s College of Design Immersive Experience Lab. Tangible Coding looks to develop new approaches to utilize VR to bolster K-12 STEM education.

Photo courtesy of Open Source Skateboards

Open Source Skateboards

Learn how to make skateboards while promoting STEAM! Have some fun trying out the design and build process yourself – and experience the same process we use to make boards for pros.

Progressive Arts Alliance

Progressive Arts Alliance

Progressive Arts Alliance presents one of our model arts integration projects that fuses making, science and art. See how light can be used to create dynamic installation art that captures the imagination. Engage in PAA’s process and be inspired.

Photo courtesy of Robolink


Children, families, and educators can play with, build, and code our robotics and drone kits. In 3-5 minute tutorials, you’ll play with nuts, bolts, and motors and cover Arduino coding.

Smithsonian Institution's Early Learning Collaborative

Educators will have the opportunity to play and engage with the station. A group of Smithsonian educators will be available to help participants harness the resources of the Institution and create a unique early learning experience.

Photo courtesy of Vidcode


Come learn about the creative potential of code! Jump into the Vidcode photo booth to dress up and take pictures and code an animated flip book! Or come and code a Snapchat filter for SXSWedu, all while learning JavaScript fundamentals.

Photo courtesy of Workbench Platform

Workbench Platform

Experience the authentic learning and motivation of completing a project using hands-on technology while learning how to find or create projects of your own with a bevy of drones, robots, circuits and more to inspire and challenge you!

For questions or more information about the Playground, check out the Playground FAQ.

SXSWedu 2016 Playground photos by Randy & Jackie Smith, Steve Rogers and Seven Snow.