Electronic Sentences

A systems development tool for young children


  • Torben Steeg MMU, BCU, TSCR
  • Ben Sedman Manchester Metropolitan University


Curriculum Development, Systems thinking, Design thinking, Language development.


This poster describes Electronic Sentences (ES). This is a suite of software and hardware tools, along with supporting curriculum materials, that uses high-level electronic elements to allow young children to easily develop age-appropriate systems to solve real-world problems. As the name suggests, systems are created by assembling grammatically correct sentences that are scanned to create a corresponding electrical system. ES thus helps children develop literacy skills, logical thinking, design thinking and systems thinking. ES is designed to be used in conjunction with a wide range of modelling materials, which teachers will select with an eye to suitability for the children using the system.

ES is being developed by a US/UK team. The target age for ES is anywhere between, in England, EYFS and Key Stage 1 and, in the US from grades pre-k-5. The design has focussed on useability for the youngest children in these ranges, i.e., children from 4 years on, while retaining attractiveness for older children, with the acknowledgement that teachers will use their judgement about when best to introduce ES.

Limited trials of a prototype, fully working, system have taken place in US classrooms. This paper will, along with describing the ES system and its design aims, report on initial trials in English classrooms. It will explore the effectiveness of the system in achieving its multiple aims (the development of literacy skills, logical thinking, design thinking and systems thinking) and, in the light of these trials suggest necessary developments in the various elements of hardware, software and courseware that will be required before the product is made widely available.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Steeg, T., & Sedman, B. (2023). Electronic Sentences: A systems development tool for young children . The 40th International Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology Conference Proceedings 2023, 1(October). Retrieved from https://openjournals.ljmu.ac.uk/PATT40/article/view/1816