Mohen Li, age 17
Radnor High School, Wayne, PA
A major obstacle to inclusion is the lack of understanding of different cultures. Children are often fed false stereotypes about other cultures, leading to a harmful bias. Growing up as an Asian American, I have experienced this in the form of jokes and stereotyping, resulting in a feeling of not belonging. Swappernauts are small toy figurines, targeted toward elementary school-age children, representing cultural or historical figures. They have interchangeable, magnetic heads, torsos, and legs, and each Swappernaut bag contains random combinations of these three parts. Children must trade with each other to complete and collect all the figurines. Swapping and trading the figurines promotes social interaction between users, creating a community and a sense of belonging. Children can scan the figurine into the companion app which provides cultural and historical information about the figurine, allowing children to be open-minded, and fostering a more inclusive future.