ELVIS: Engaging Learners in Virtual Interactive Science

Lead Research Organisation: Armagh Planetarium (do not use)
Department Name: Northern Ireland Space Office


We wish to develop virtual versions of a number of STFC astronomy, space science and particle physics facilities, and populate them with avatars (based on actual scientists) who can interact with users and teach them about the science and technology they are seeing on screen. We will use Thinking WorldsTM, a well-established and proven educational tool for producing 3D environments, within which users can explore, interact, engage with, question and generally experience (in a virtual sense). The project will be delivered in two phases. Phase one to be completed in the first year, will be aimed at creating learning experiences based around the: i) ISIS Second Target Station ii) Herschel Space Observatory iii) Diamond Light Source Using the Thinking WorldsTM technology, learners will be able to walk around the ISIS Second Target Station to meet the UK scientists at the forefront of materials research, they will discover how this research enables them to make breakthroughs that will underpin the next generation of super-fast computers, data storage, sensors, pharmaceutical and medical applications, materials processing, catalysis, biotechnology and clean energy technology. The learner can also visit the Herschel Space Observatory and discover that as well as looking at our own galaxy and its evolution, Herschel will look at how galaxies formed in the early Universe on a grand scale. They will be able to meet the scientists who designed and use the observatory. The learner will be taken to the Diamond Light Source, meet the scientists working at the facility and discover and understand the world leading science that is taking place. They will be able to look at the three areas of a beamline and understand how the optics hutch, experimental hutch and the control cabin facilitate scientists to conduct their research.


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