sábado, 29 de outubro de 2011

Science at School - Exponor

We were at Fundação Ilídio Pinho's exhibition Ciência na Escola (Science at School) at Exponor, Oporto, showing some of the science education projects selected for last year's science at school contest. Our booth showcased Agrupamento de Escolas da Venda do Pinheiro entry, Viagem de um Glóbulo Vermelho, a virtual world created by students who modelled elements of the blood and assembled a virtual museum after research and experimental activities under guidance from teachers Sónia Azevedo, Ana Piano and Artur Coelho.

Our booth at the exhibition.

Digital tecnhologies allow very zen-like presentations. We displayed an offline mode of the virtual world, projected on screen, another experiment in the crossing of science, arts and ICT, and an under the hood section, displaying original VRML models, Vivtay Studio files and other apps, to show how it was done. Unfortunately, we did not have internet acces, making impossible a demonstration of virtual interactions using Babel X3D.

We also used this opportunity to spread the word about the Babel X3D community. In a science fair full of models (non-virtual ones), posters, powerpoint presentations, scientific equipment and robotics we atracted quite a bit of attention from teachers and high-school students over the how-to build virtual worlds, educational uses applications used and the abilities of elementary school pupils in 3D and VRML/X3D. Representants from the portuguese Ministry of Education and Science central and regional structures, and Fundação Ilídio Pinho were dazzled by these virtual spaces, one of wich had been distinguinshed with a prize in the previous year iniciative.

As for elementary school students present... they loved to play in this virtual world. We hope to be present in the next year's iniciative, showcasing other virtual worlds created in class interconnecting learning and knowledge from different areas (in this case, science, arts and ICT) with content created by the students. The more we delve into VRML/X3D educational possibilities the more we think we've barely scratched the surface. All the students involved in the projects showcased here and in 3D Alpha - from the 5th/6th grades to the 3rd and 4th grades, deserve congratulations for they'r creativity and hard work.

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