SXSWedu Playground photo by Mengwen Cao

Lego Office Depot VEXRobotics

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 Playground provides a destination for attendees to explore, discover, participate and learn with like-minded individuals.

The wall-to-wall creative energy within the SXSWedu Playground, hosted by LEGO Education, Office Depot and VEX Robotics, comes from the various elements that take place in the space including displays, talks and hands-on presentations.

Playground Hours

Monday, March 7 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Tuesday, March 8 10:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday, March 9 10:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday, March 10 9:00am - 12:00pm


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

SXSWedu Playground Talk photo by Alexa Wagner

Coding – It’s Elementary!

Connecting Communities: Beyond Social Networking

Creating Spaces to Foster Innovation

Go Bananas with Music Tinkering in the Classroom

Growing Minds & Food in Milwaukee Public Schools

Learning to Nurture Designers

Lifelong Learning in a Cognitive Era

Minecraft in the Classroom—A Case Study

No More Yoda Heads: 3D Printing 4 Diverse Learners

Out of This World Spaces Create Next Gen Learners

Real Science, Games & You: Explore with NOVA Labs

See2Achieve: Virtual Reality, Vision and Learning

Sheriff Bus to Library: How Kids Remix Social Good

The STE(A)M Truck Story: Mobile Making

The Street Arcade: Socially Engaged Video Games

Using 360º Spherical Video as a Teaching Tool

Hands On

Join in on a Playground Hands On to collaborate and learn first-hand. Presenters will be facilitating a casual, instructional exercise that supports your direct participation.

SXSWedu Playground Hands On

Are You (Tech) Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

Collaborative Empathy: Teaching for Learning

Come Build Your Own Computer

Creative Learning: Constructive Self-Expression

Design Make Go: MakerED & Tech Integration

Get Out! Sincerely, Your Motor and Creative Skills

Hack Your Classroom: Build a Culture of Hackers

Inspiring the Innovators of Tomorrow

Invent Your Own Internet of Things: STEAM and IoT

Learning & Attention Issues Through a Child's Eyes

Student Created Animation Increases Understanding

TECH IT OUT with SHEbots: Fashion Runway Show!

The Fresh Holodeck 2.0: Culturally Responsive Tech

The Mystery Box Challenge

Virtual Exchange Meets Virtual Reality

ENCORE: Virtual Exchange Meets Virtual Reality


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 participate in interactive activities in a casual, conversational setting.



New York, New York
Join the 3Doodler team to get hands on with the newest models of the world's first 3D printing pen! See and hear how Doodling can be used to enrich class projects while teaching creativity, design, planning, building, spatial understanding and more.



Salt Lake City, Utah
Ardusat is the complete program for any school looking for an interactive and effective STEM solution. The experiment resources that we provide range from using Arduino and sensors, to running experiments on satellites in space.

Black Rocket

Black Rocket

Freehold, New Jersey
#GameOn: Join Black Rocket to learn how to use the video game design process to empower your students AND enhance instructional design. It is full STEAM ahead in our fully interactive, engaging edu-awesome space as we zap you into the game!

Computer Science Department, The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas
Come learn about the AI technology of Automated Question Answering, IBM's Watson system and its various applications. Consider the potential of this technology to improve education with computer systems that are knowledgeable and conversant.


Digital Media Academy

Palo Alto, California
Digital Media Academy is a technology education company that empowers the next generation of makers. Come sample some of our hands on activities in 3D printing & modeling, screen printing, programming, Minecraft and more!

Einsteins Workshop

Einstein's Workshop

Burlington, Massachusetts
Try your hand at designing a 3D printable creation. Our laptops will be running BlocksCAD, an open source, 3D CAD program specifically designed for 3D printing and for teaching math, programming and CAD concepts to students. See it in action today.

Electric Girls

Electric Girls

New Orleans, Louisiana
Interested in learning how to engage girls in STEM or how to implement mentorship structures in your organization? Visit us to see student work, engage in our hands on activities, and learn how to create immediate peer role models in the classroom.

Exploration School, Inc. (EXPLO)


Norwood, Massachusetts
Meet Captain Fraido Heights! The good Captain loves to fly, despite his obvious fear, but needs YOU to help him hover. Design and test a parachute that keeps the Ace flying high in our atmospheric simulator at this classroom-friendly STEM activity.



Austin, Texas
Visit the GameSalad booth and see how easy it is to build your own games with our intuitive drag and drop interface. We will show off games built by students and discuss how to use game development in CS and STEM education.



Austin, Texas
We are on a mission to make learning something everyone can—and wants to—connect with and enjoy. Join us as we demo the platform, showcase the various ways you can use Kahoot! and chat all things social learning.


Kurzweil Education

Natick, Massachusetts
Join Kurzweil Education to understand how we are uniquely equipped to speak to a wide array of students’ needs. Through hands on activities, learn why students struggle with reading and how educators (and students) can overcome these differences.

LEGO® Education

Boston, Massachusetts
Engage every type of learner in your elementary and middle school classrooms through LEGO® Education robotics hands-on learning! By combining LEGO® bricks, curriculum and digital tools, we offer playful learning experiences to help students succeed.


New York Hall of Science

Queens, New York
Noticing Tools are iPad apps and curricula for playful STEM learning. Explore and create awesome design-based projects in math and science, from photo mashups for fractions, animations for geometry and algebra, to playground experiences for physics.



Boston, Massachusetts
From designing renewable energy systems to spotting phishing scams to exploring the tree of life, NOVA Labs takes players through STEM games that use real data. NOVA Labs also features engaging, animated videos for each interactive.

Office Depot

Boca Raton, Florida
Jump into cognitive computing, 3D printing, project-based learning, personalized digital platforms and high school entrepreneurship. From city-wide early literacy platforms to high impact learning environments, explore the Office Depot Innovation Zone and experience our commitment to learning.

Progressive Arts Alliance

Progressive Arts Alliance

Cleveland, Ohio
Discover how to fuse fine arts with making! Join Progressive Arts Alliance’s artists to engage in one of our model arts integration projects. Participants will learn how to use acrylic rods, circuits, LEDs, and more to make installation art.

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

Washington, D.C.
Come see the power of using real objects and collections as teaching tools, both in the classroom and through visits to informal learning settings. Learn innovative and playful ways to incorporate objects and collections to facilitate deeper learning.



Berlin, Germany
Join the sofatutor team to celebrate our U.S. launch! Come watch a demo of our fun video lessons, interactive practice problems and homework chat features.



Durham, North Carolina
Camp TechTerra brings together technology and nature to help children better understand their world through hands-on exploring. Join us for robotics, micro-controllers, tangible play and making, all with a foundation in the great outdoors!

The Learning Portfolio Project

The Learning Portfolio Project

New York, New York
Explore how digital learning portfolios can empower students to capture and share their personal learning stories. Visit our pop-up design studio to browse examples and work with hands on materials to prototype an ideal learning portfolio interface.


Urban Arts Partnership

New York, New York
UAP will present arts-based tech tools, platforms and projects that engage participants in new approaches to teaching and learning including physical and virtual learning space, tools that enhance creativity, and engaging content delivery systems.


United States Patent and Trademark Office

Alexandria, Virginia
Engage with resources designed to help students connect STEM learning with real-world problem solving. Explore the Science of Innovation series and gain tools to help learners transform their ideas into reality.



San Antonio, Texas
What is your big idea? Come learn how to incorporate entrepreneurship and innovation into any educational setting! We will dig into hands on manipulatives and challenge you to solve a problem out in the world using the entrepreneurial mindset.

VEX Robotics

Greenville, Texas
As a global provider of educational and competitive robotics products, VEX is leading the STEM education revolution! Come check out our robots and learn how these accessible kits can excite your students about engineering in a snap (literally.)

Learning Spaces

New to the Playground this year is an area dedicated to the visualization of the learning spaces track. Don't miss the Learning Spaces area located in the Playground featuring exciting designs of innovative learning spaces featuring:
Ennead Architects
Quattrocchi Kwok ArchitectsLearning Spaces

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

Photos by Mengwen Cao, Owen Rogers, Jack Premack/USPTO and Danny Matson