American Friends of MyMachine

What is your dream machine?

MyMachine (BE) A Project of M | KBFUS Funds

Bringing Joy & Wonder to education worldwide with our multi-award winning inter-generational co-creation methodology

The MyMachine Global Foundation (°2009) is a not-for-profit organisation with a worldwide unique and multi-award winning education model...
...that brings together students from elementary classrooms, college students and technical secondary students
to collaborate as peers in bringing to life, dream machine ideas from children.

MyMachine is a leader in STEM education (STEAM)...
...with inter-generational co-creation, creativity, empowerment, design thinking, entrepreneurialism, 21st century skills, maker-centered learning, project-based learning, joy and wonder and open knowledge
as key values.

MyMachine is already running in 8 countries on 3 continents...
...Belgium, France, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Africa and the United States of America
and we are working hard to grow the model to even more regions and countries.

Today we have reached out to over 500,000 people worldwide...
...MyMachine aims at impacting both the education system worldwide and the lives of the individual students.

invented by kids:

The Revolving Bunk-Bed (The-Never-Discuss-Anymore-Who-Gets-To-Sleep-On-Top-Machine)

...and thousands more.

So, what is your dream machine?

Your kind support will a make a lasting difference in helping us achieving our goal to bring our powerful model to all countries worldwide.

We unite students of all ages to start driving their own learning by co-creating and respecting each other's talents in bringing to life their own dream machine ideas.
They learn that they can also contribute to society, rather than just consume society. And the skills learned in MyMachine, will serve them for life.

Your support is a general grant to the not-for-profit MyMachine Global Foundation. But just to give you an idea how any contribution makes a difference:


children from primary schools invent and present (via drawings, models, manuals, …) their own 'Dream Machine'. Anything goes: from a machine that helps you to put peanut butter on a sandwich to a machine that cleans your room. The main criterion is that it's relevant for the child who really, really wants it.

higher education students (e.g. product design, game design students, engineers, architect students, art students) propose one or more solutions to design those machines. The best solutions – according to the children – then are selected and further developed.

finally, the technical drawings/designs and working concepts are handed over to Technical Secondary Schools . They build real prototypes of those machines, assisted by the kids who invented them and the higher education students who designed them.
Throughout this whole process the children, pupils and students can use the expertise and support of a wide range of local corporations and organizations who share a common view on creativity and innovation.



Higher Education Students go through an amazing hands-on experience (including budget restraints and deadlines) of their future jobs:
  • they learn to listen to their customer, in this case the Elementary School child (a very demanding customer by the way).They learn to use their own knowledge and knowhow to translate the idea into a concept;
  • they learn to take into account the production facility they can use, in this case the participating technical secondary schools: they need to understand what production machines these schools have, what complexity level the participating technical secondary school students can handle.


Technical Secondary Students learn about the valuable contribution they make in a product design flow:
  • they learn that in many cases they can actually improve the design of the engineers.They learn to communicate about how they know the production could be made easier and better;
  • they learn the importance of their skills as an important asset of the materializing of ideas and the creation of added value.


Elementary School Children learn that the world in which they live in is malleable and that they can actually contribute to society, rather than just be a consumer of society:
  • they learn that having ideas is important and brings joy and wonder;
  • they learn what it takes to bring an idea to life.They learn the importance of STE(A)M, entrepreneurship, respect each other's talents, collaboration in groups, co-creation.


United Nations World Summit Award (GLOBAL)
Reimagine Education Presence Learning Gold Winner 2018 Award (GLOBAL)
Designmanagement Europe Award (EUROPE)
Lern Award (USA)


The New York Academy of Sciences (USA)
Harvard School of Education (USA)
Sir Richard Branson, Entrepreneur (UK)
Sir Ken Robinson, Author, Creativity Expert (most viewed TED-Talk worldwide) (UK, USA)
Peter Gamwell, Author, Creativity Expert (CANADA)
Agoria, Federation for the Belgian Technology Industry (BELGIUM)
Voka, Chamber of Commerce (BELGIUM)


MyMachine is created by
  • Jan Despiegelaere (Community Foundation of West Flanders at King Baudouin Foundation (°1978)),
  • Filip Meuris (inter-city collaboration platform Leiedal (°1960)) and
  • Piet Grymonprez (Howest University of Applied Sciences, (°1847)).

The MyMachine Global Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation aiming at growing this unique model worldwide.
MyMachine is already running in Belgium, France, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Africa and the United States of America and we are working hard to grow the model to even more regions and countries.

Today we've reached out to over 500,000 people worldwide.

Read more here:


There's many layers coming together in this simple question: "what is your dream machine?"


Step 1-2-3 in our methodology are not divided steps. On the contrary. The whole process is based upon co-creation, collaboration of all students of all levels, working together as peers.


Empowerment of all students is key to us! Therefore MyMachine does not incorporate a substantive framework and it is not a competition. All students involved are winners. All ideas are winners.


Students of all ages learn-by-doing all the core steps of design thinking, necessary to translate the invention of a new product into a design concept and a working prototype.


Inventing a dream machine. Translating an idea into a concept. Translating a concept into a working prototype. All of these steps challenge the students to be very creative to make it all work.
STE(A)MScience, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics. MyMachine embraces technical and technological talents, creative ideas and engineering solutions. Students gain insight on what STE(A)M means in real life. They learn how these skills might trigger their future professions.


All students learn though MyMachine what it means to go for it. To create something that nobody else has done before. They learn not be afraid of doing something new to the world, no matter how strange the idea might sound in the beginning. They learn that by collaborating in groups, respecting each other talents, you can take on any idea and make it work.


Joy and wonder promote learning. They increase dopamine, endorphins, and oxygen. Optimal brain activation occurs when people are in positive emotional states or when the material holds personal meaning, connects to their interests, is presented with elements of novelty, or evokes wonder.


Today's jobs increasingly require knowledge in STE(A)M areas, along with competence in what are commonly referred to as 21st-century, non-cognitive, or social-emotional skills—capacities such as creativity, communication, collaboration, and persistence.
Students participating in MyMachine identify their passion(s) and talent(s). Some discover they are good in communicating or in creativity or in technology, others in project management or in leadership.


Considering our focus on invention, design, and making, maker-centered learning emphasizes looking closely, exploring complexity, and finding opportunity as three core maker capacities.
Much as Harvard identifies agency as a keystone in empowering maker-centered learning, MyMachine supports the development of students' agency both as makers and as learners, by instilling participants with an I can do that attitude both toward building machines with social value and toward navigating the social system that supports learning in their community.
By placing students in a network of interacting mentors, makers, and doers the participants have opportunities to form relationships across domains of expertise and across age levels that could positively impact the net social capital of the community.They learn that they can contribute to society, rather than just be a consumer of society.


MyMachine supports sustained inquiry around a challenge and carefully attends to promoting agency and reflection throughout learning. By being explicit about how MyMachine is aligned with and even extends traditional notions of Project Based Learning, we transform learning experiences in the participating schools.
MyMachine is focusing on Agency and Ownership through sustained inquiry and brings meaningful integration of disciplinary content and practices.
MyMachine intends that students not only enjoy the experience of learning, but also develop essential disciplinary ideas and practices. This becomes possible with intentionally designed opportunities for making progress toward these goals.


We bring MyMachine to the global community by launching official MyMachine Chapters. Once a Chapter is created, the MyMachine model creates a unique open collaboration between all educational levels. The bringing to life of the dream machines is a completely open process that anyone can follow and contribute to.