SIGGRAPH 2002 sigKIDS Fact Sheet

Conference: 21-26 July 2002
Exhibition: 23-25 July 2002

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
San Antonio, Texas USA

"Education is an unlimited process. It takes place in many settings beyond formal classrooms: homes, streets, libraries, clubs, malls, and museums," said Marc Barr, SIGGRAPH 2002 sigKIDS chair from Middle Tennessee State University. "sigKIDS focuses on involvement with the local community and reaches out to audiences that are not usually associated with computer graphics and interactive techniques."

SIGGRAPH 2002 sigKIDS is offering two types of activities at the San Antonio Children's Museum, a unique learning center designed to provide interactive and stimulating educational experiences that can be shared by both parents and children:

Camp sigKIDS
A series of "day camps" throughout the week of 21 - 26 July, for children 4-8 years old. The educational camps will give younger children their first opportunity to interact with technology-based learning materials.

With SIGGRAPH 2002's assistance, the museum is receiving 12 computers from the San Antonio Express-News and a variety of educational and other software. These permanent donations will enable the museum to develop its first hands-on lab experiences. The children of south Texas will be using the new resources for several years to come.

Interactive Educational Projects
Twelve interactive educational projects, similar to those displayed in SIGGRAPH 2002 Emerging Technologies will be installed at the museum. These projects, submitted by specialists from the US, Canada, and Japan, celebrate learning in the sciences, cultures, and the visual and performing arts.

Highlights of the sigKIDS Projects at the San Antonio Children's Museum

An Application of Tangible Interfaces in Collaborative Learning Environments
Contributor: Lori Scarlatos, Brooklyn College
Tangible Interfaces for Collaborative Learning Environments (TICLE) supplements physical learning activities with computer tutors that ask relevant questions when the students get stuck. With TICLE, a group of children is given a set of physical puzzle pieces and a specific goal (such as "put these shapes together to make a square") designed to teach a math or science concept. As the children work with the puzzle, a computer system observes their actions, encourages them as they make progress, and offers "hints" when they don't.

Anansi's World of Folklore
Contributor: Jacqueline Nuwame, Canadian Film Centre
Anansi's World of Folklore is a celebration of the art of storytelling, created as a broadband site for showcasing and collecting folktales. It was created to discover a way to give traditional oral storytelling a meaningful place on the Internet. Anansi is the spinner of tales and the owner of all stories; his character serves as a departure point for discovery of this collection of folklore tales. The use of voice is central to Anansi; it creates an oral storytelling experience in a multimedia context. Users are challenged to stop, listen, and explore their creative expression by contributing their own folktales. More than sound, Anansi offers digitally rich animation and allows users to decide how they will progress through the story, but the linear act of storytelling is maintained. It provides a wide range of stories from many different cultures.

Floating Words for Kids
Contributors: Satoko Moroi, Tokyo Denki University, Shinji Sasada, Japan Electronics College, and Ryoji Shibata, Tokyo Denki University
This interactive installation for learning alphabets is a new device for playing with words. When users speak into the microphone, their voices drip into a water pool, where they can be stirred or ladled.

Contributors: Hilary J. Wright, Mobility Pictures Inc., and Nancy Hyland
FORM is an educational software prototype designed to encourage children's creative play with fundamental geometric shapes. This open-ended program is a creative tool that helps form a deep and lasting understanding of the beauty, elegance, and underlying unity of math, science, design, and nature. Through play with simple geometric shapes, children are introduced to: design and aesthetics (color, symmetry, pattern), geometry (shape, proportion, harmony), and physics (volume, gravity, movement). The hexagon grid interface invites players to create static and animated designs by changing the size, weight, color, position, gravity, animation, and sound of circles, squares, and triangles. Audio, animated clips, and graphic icons help pre-readers navigate through the program independently.

GollyGee Blocks: A 3D Modeler for Children
Contributor: Jonathan T. Blocksom, GollyGee Software, Inc.
GollyGee Blocks is a 3D modeling program for children. Children use it to stack, transform, color, and texture 3D objects in a 3D scene that can be viewed from any angle. Designed as an educational, open-ended creativity tool for 3D graphics, GollyGee Blocks is suitable for children in pre-school as well as sixth and seventh graders. Younger children can place blocks in the scene and experiment with coloring and texturing; older children can take advantage of the transformation tools and hierarchical modeling features to create complicated 3D scenes.

Interactive Animation as an Educational Tool in "Winter Dreams"
Contributor: Daria Tsoupikova, Syracuse University
This installation is a narrative-based game about the winter hibernation of a bear family. "Winter Dreams" is an experimental interactive multimedia project developed for kids aged 5-7. It teaches the following skills: object recognition, picture identification and matching, early math and problem solving, and creativity. The game consists of chain-style interfaces that require children to solve simple game tasks to earn rewards and move to the next interface. Simple text explanations at the bottom of the window, symbols, and animations help children to understand the task.

The ToyScout's Immersive Jukebox
Contributors: Christopher Stapleton, Linda Ellis, Brad Martin, Kirsten Kischuk, Shelley Brown, Elana Rubinfeld, Matthew Gerber, Peter Stepniewicz, John Culbertson, Paulius Micikevicius, Kristin Congdon, and Amy Hale, University of Central Florida
The Immersive Jukebox offers users a choice of musical experiences that explore various influences of African-American blues: traditional African music, spirituals, work songs, and others. Inspired by the curriculum of the International House of Blues Foundation's Blues SchoolHouse program, it introduces students and teachers to the music, art, and history of the blues and its cultural origins.

The Toy Scouts is a multidisciplinary research group of students, industry professionals, and research associates at the University of Central Florida that develops creative applications of virtual reality for play. The Toy Scouts were challenged with augmenting this curriculum with an affordable, mobile, highly interactive application of the material for K-12 children.

The Virtual Dig
Contributor: Robert Dunn, Arc Vertuel, Inc.
The Virtual Dig is an interactive adventure for young people that provides an educational experience in archaeology and historical architecture. The Web site was produced for the Israel Museum, in collaboration with museum archaeologists. This 3D computer graphic reconstruction and walk-through is based on the permanent TEL exhibition at the Israel Museum. A TEL is an archaeological mound. The recreated TEL at the museum is a composite of five different historical periods each represented by architectural remains that reflect characteristics of specific periods. The Virtual Dig Web site is a teaching tool that serves as a parallel educational resource for distance learning and for visitors to the museum who wish to understand the TEL exhibit in context and in depth.

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