Apr 11, 2006

Updated 5/20/06 ! Interactive Multimedia Technology for Science and Math


Science/Math Update 5/20/06

The Molecularium website at Rensselaer has links to information about the new Molecularium project.
This description is from the website:

"Our mission is to blend art and science to create unique vehicles to excite, entertain, and educate
children of all ages about science in the world around them. Molecularium™ is the flagship outreach
and informal education effort of Rensselaer’s National Science Foundation funded Nanoscale Science
and Engineering Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures."


The fields of science and math increasingly rely on technology for scientific visualization, data visualization, and three-dimensional modeling. These technologies can be incorporated into interactive multimedia activities for students, often improving the motivation, learning, and academic engagement of students. This list is a starting point and will be updated periodically.
The following resource is from a recent presentation regarding newer technologies for math and science, including the use of computer graphics, the Tablet PC, and immersive virtual reality for scientific visualization. The pictures are informing. A good overview:

van Dam, A. (2006). Immersive virtual reality in scientific visualization. Presentation: Simon Fraser University.


The Active Worlds Educational Universe is an Active Worlds Universe that uses and explores the educational applications of the Active Worlds Technology. Margaret Corbit, of Cornell University, participated in the Vlearn study regarding virtual worlds for science. Final Report: "Building blocks for virtual worlds."

"For several years, researchers at Cornell University have been using Active Worlds software to help students in science classes around North America translate various science related curriculum into virtual worlds students author, explore, and interact in. By doing so, students must research, actively construct, and thus translate their knowledge of a specific scientific domain (e.g. DNA or Martian exploration) into a virtual simulated experience."


The Concord Consortium is a nonprofit educational research and development organization based in Concord, Massachusetts. We create interactive materials that exploit the power of information technologies. Our primary goal in all our work is digital equity, improving learning opportunities for all students." Concord Consortium offers free software for science and math interactive learning activities; a free software development kit is available for download. Take a look at the Modeling Across the Curriculum page on the Concord Consortium website.


Dimenxian is an engaging, immersive 3-D Algebra 1 game, with multiplayer capabilities. It was developed by Tabula Digita. The game aligns to curriculum standards and would work well in an after-school study skills or tutorial program. Math teachers with an interactive whiteboard might find it useful in grabbing attention when introducing new concepts or for reviewing for exams. You see the Dimenxian trailer request a demo of the game here.


Discovery School is part of the Discovery Channel website. It includes a wealth of information for education, including lesson plans for all grade levels, including science. Many of the online are interactive. Example lesson plan with interactive online activities: Earth and Beyond
Link to United Streaming video


Environmental Detectives is a an interactive simulation developed by the Games to Teach Program at MIT. It is classified as Augmented Reality Simulation. Environmental Detectives allow students to use handheld PDA's with GIS technology to participate in a variety of activities outdoors and is used in environmental education classes.

There is a PowerPoint presentation about Environmental Detectives on the website


National Geographic has a kid's home page . This site has a variety of engaging learning activities, including a virtual rain forest at night, with sound. Information for teachers can be found on the educator's home page.


The PBS Science website contains links to NOVA, Nature, and Scientific American Frontiers. It includes a variety of on-line science activities and resources for students, teachers, and parents. Resources for teachers and parents are available here. For kids: ZoomSci


The River City Project is at the Harvard School of Education.
"This project is studying the extent to which The River City MUVE, a technology - based curricular innovation, developed through "robust-design" strategies is effective in increasing students' educational outcomes across a range of challenging classroom settings." Dr. Chris Dede is the lead researcher for this project. River City on-line videos are available on the website.


"Drawing on the look and feel of computer games, the Wayang Outpost is set in a virtual world representing an orangutan research station in the rainforest of Kalimantan. Students interact with virtual mentor characters based on real female scientists who provide role models for students considering math-intensive fields of study."

The engagement provided by the game format may help draw in at-risk, disengaged teens back into learning. The game support geometry and SAT preparation and was designed to interest girls in math and science.

Publications about Wayang Outpost

Wayang Outpost project at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Wayang Outpost project at the University of Southern California

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