BigShot camera for learning, creating and sharing

Over the years, the digital camera has made inroads in all parts of society, and some manufacturers have already introduced specially designed models for our youngest generation. However, Shree Nayar of the Computer Vision Laboratory at Columbia University, has taken the idea a refreshing step further. His BigShot digital camera should not only encourage the children's creative vision, but get them excited about the wonderful world of science at the same time. Each building block of the BigShot camera is designed to teach a basic concept of physics...


Read all about the BigShot camera and project at bigshotcamera.orgLearn by Building

Bigshot comes as a kit that can be assembled in several stages, each stage giving the student hands-on exposure to important science and engineering concepts.  The educational materials on this website that describe Bigshot are designed to keep the students engaged through the entire process of building the camera.  This is achieved through playful and yet detailed illustrations and interactive demonstrations.  By the time the student has assembled Bigshot, he or she would have been exposed to fundamental concepts in optics, mechanics, electromagnetism, electronics, image processing, and even the physiology of the human eye.

Create by Using

In 2004, Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski made the documentary Born into Brothels, which was a portrait of several children living in the most inhumane conditions in the red light district of Calcutta.  Zana Briski gave each child a camera and taught them photography.  With their cameras, the children began to look at their world with new eyes.  Born into Brothels was one of the sources of inspiration for the Bigshot project.  Once Bigshot has been assembled, it can be used to tap into the student's creative potential as a photographer.  The student can compose and capture moments from their everyday lives, while experimenting with framing, lighting, and motion.

Express by Sharing

Bigshot comes with software tools that enable students in a school with even a single computer to download, view, and print their photos.  With their teachers' help, students can share their favorite photos and related stories with other students in different communities or even different countries.   Eventually, we hope to create an online community of students from various schools around the world.  We believe that the sharing of life experiences through photos, across geographical and cultural boundaries, is a powerful way to open the minds of children who may not have the resources to travel the world.

Additional Information: Read all about the BigShot camera and project at

November 28, 2009

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