I can’t remember the first time I played with the Spirograph or where I got it from, but I can remember the
combination of joy and awe I felt while using it. Drawing those weird shapes was a really interesting experience - I loved how the smallest change to the initial setting ended up as a big change of the outcome. I loved the feeling of creating something new, that wasn’t there before, and the fact that I could control the consequences.
It was also “an object to think with” - knowing that it only looks random, but is actually guided by a set of rules sparked my curiosity and made me wonder and guess about how does it work
A few months ago, when we were asked to create a Scratch project for one my classes I thought about making some interactive art project, and suddenly remembered my spirograph. This time, my curiosity for understanding it was much easier to fulfill - Wikipedia was right there with the formulas, and I already have all the knowledge I need to make sense of them. 10 minutes later I had the first version of the working spirograph in Scratch, but I found myself spending a lot of time adding features, playing with the numbers, and trying to understand exactly what each of the variables mean. It wasn’t easy, but when I finally understood what’s going on I felt like I not only satisfied the curiosity of myself, but also of 10 year old Moran.
Want to check out my Scratch Spirogarph?