Five years ago, Nüdel Kart embarked on a mission to create the world’s most open-ended learning resources for Schools.
Founder & CEO, Marcus Veerman says “Nüdel resources sit at the Dr Seuss end of the construction toy spectrum”…. He says “when children are in a self directed, creative and open-ended environment, quite simply, they learn more deeply”. “They become responsible for their learning and far more motivated to explore and experiment; and whether they succeed or fail, they own the results.”
The Australian charity makes high quality mobile carts that look like something between a shopping trolley and a meticulously designed nordic piece of furniture. They are designed to promote creativity, STEM, social skills, and wellbeing in a package that is easy and low stress for teachers to use. Bond University Research in 2022 showed that 100% of the creative and critical thinking; and, Personal and Social general capabilities in the Australian curriculum were demonstrated and practised during Nüdel Kart sessions“ and that is completely student- led… No teacher direction or explicit instruction” states Veerman. “Imagine what children would be absorbing with a great teacher supporting their development”. In addition the study showed that over 90% of the children showed these general capabilities being used. “What this means is that not only are the children doing all those critical life skill capabilities but they are doing them almost all the time in a Nüdel space which is really exciting data to see from an independent study”.
Nüdel Karts are based on the theory of loose parts developed by Simon Nicholson In 1972. Nicholson’s theory stated that loose parts are materials which can be moved around, designed and redesigned, tinkered with and combined and connected in many different ways which creates infinitely more opportunities for creative engagement than static materials and environments. Nüdel has taken this theory and; using modern manufacturing techniques and hundreds of iterations, created a series of unique, and unusual materials that connect together in billions of different combinations. “We have really tried to focus on providing an array of different materials with as many different tactile elements as possible. It’s not just made out of wood, but it’s got silicon, fabrics, netting, wheels and so on which really means that the possibilities for children are close to endless” states Veerman “ we were also hyper focused on using materials that were as biodegradable and sustainable as possible “
Nüdel Kart makes a great teachers sidekick, always there to create a hands-on environment to practise numeracy or literacy but there are a few other areas where Nüdel really excels; like STEM and wellbeing.
Contrary to what many educators believe, STEM skills are not building robots and writing code, STEM skills are mainly the foundational skills required to do the jobs most in demand in the future. Surprisingly, most STEM skills are a long way from coding a computer and much more human than many would expect. They are skills like problem solving, creativity, critical analysis, teamwork, independent thinking, initiative and communication.
Nüdel Kart excels in creating time and space to deeply explore these skills in a self directed and creative way. Simply placing a Nüdel Kart in the middle of a room and allowing children to begin, any educator would quickly be able to see children deeply engaging in all of these STEM skills within seconds. Most importantly, the students will experience this environment not as a chore but as deeply engaging and a lot of fun which brings us to our second major benefit. Nüdel Kart significantly reduces stress on teachers and increases a child’s well-being. Engaging in hands-on activities can help children develop not only a sense of pride and accomplishment, but engaging in a physical activity for children significantly improves their overall mental and emotional wellbeing, which for many children in the last few years has been at an all time low.
Nüdel Kart products offer a fun and engaging way for children to naturally engage deeply in the curriculum in some areas which have traditionally been hard for teachers to teach and at the same time its proven to help develop their STEM skills, social skills, and sense of wellbeing. Nüdel can help children develop into well-rounded individuals who are prepared to face the challenges of a fast moving and uncertain future with confidence.