Wonder-LAND : A Tangible Mixed-Reality Book System For Explorative Learning in Science

University essay from Umeå universitet/Designhögskolan vid Umeå universitet

Abstract: Every child is born a scientist, with curiosity to explore the environment through experimentation. However, in practice, science education still very focuses on transmitting facts instead of encouraging personal exploration. Conducting science exploration in a classroom can be complicated for kids and limited by safety, money and laboratory infrastructure. But what if we could create a middle ground between science and fiction, a world where kids discover and experiment in ways that could be impossible in real life but still true to science? This project is to design an imaginative and accessible tool to help kids develop a scientific mindset and practice through play. Wonder-LAND is a mixed reality book system that empowers kids to discover the unseen and experiment the impossible through play. The system combines AR and VR technology with various traditional paper-based mechanisms from pop-up book, cut-out toys and movable cards to bring a world alive. In such way, kids can interact with the tangible material, paper, to unlock amazing 3D virtual phenomena. They can discover things that are not visible to the naked eyes through metaphorical paper tools. And they can also conduct experiments that are impossible in reality by creating their own universe and controlling parameters in simulation. And those playful interactions spark their curiosity and passion for more scientific exploration.

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