The Imaginarium

Part of a qualitative STEM study that seeks to explore how young learners distribute cognition and negotiate collaborative learning and problem solving with a simulated personal assistant for learning while immersed in a virtual world called the Next Generation Learner Imaginarium. This prototype features transmedia game elements, imagination, discovery learning, and bioscience content aimed at 5th grade learners. 

Participants  enter the Imaginarium and encounter imaginary creatures in a virtual environment. Their mission will be to identify and classify the most promising for inclusion in a top 10 list. All the while, learners will use an interactive simulated Personal Assistant for Learning (PAL) that is tailored to meet each learner’s individual preferences.

The Imaginarium is used to teach adaptability in the context of “common good” decision making that is centered on sustainability science and ecosystems.

Read more here. 

The Central City and the Emergent City by Stanza

The Central City project by Stanza is included in the Vida Retrospective Fundacion Telefonica in Madrid from May 8th 2012 to Jan 2013. Hundreds of sections of this net art labyrinth were exhibited on 15 touch screens built into towers blocks as a large scale interactive installation. Stanza will be showing all The Central City projects and sub projects. It's a labyrinth, a “city” of interactive artworks themed around the life of the city and using patterns maps and city data. It enables students and teachers to explain and demonstrate the cultural, environmental and social life of cities as well as critical elements of sustainable urban development. The artwork explores new ways of thinking about life, emergence and interaction within public space. The project uses environmental monitoring technologies and security based technologies, to question audiences' experiences of real time events and create visualizations of life as it unfolds. The installation goes beyond simple single user interaction to monitor and survey in real time the whole city and entirely represent the complexities of the real time city as a shifting morphing complex system.


EarSketch – Brian Magerko

Computational music remixing and sharing as a tool to drive engagement and interest in computing

EarSketch engages students in computing principles through collaborative computational music composition and remixing. It consists of an integrated curriculum, software toolset, and social media website. The EarSketch curriculum targets introductory high school and college computing education. The software toolset enables students to create music by manipulating loops, composing beats, and applying effects with Python code. The social media website invites students to upload their music and source code, view other students’ work, and create derivative musical remixes from other students’ code. EarSketch is built on top of Reaper, an intuitive digital audio workstation (DAW) program comparable to those used in professional recording studios.

EarSketch is designed to enable student creativity, to enhance collaboration, and to leverage cultural relevance. This focus has created unique advantages for our approach to computing education:

EarSketch leverages musical remixing as it relates to popular musical forms, such as hip hop, and to industry-standard methods of music production, in an attempt to connect to students in a culturally relevant fashion that spans gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.EarSketch focuses on the level of beats, loops, and effects more than individual notes, enabling students with no background in music theory or composition to begin creating personally relevant music immediately, with a focus on higher-level musical concepts such as formal organization, texture, and mixing.The EarSketch social media site allows a tight coupling between code sharing / reuse and the musical practice of remixing. Students can grab code snippets from other projects and directly inject them into their own work, modifying them to fit their idiosyncratic musical ideas.EarSketch builds on professional development techniques using an industry-relevant, text-based programming language (Python), giving students concrete skills directly applicable to further study.

EarSketch is a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that was created to motivate students to consider further study and careers in computer science. The program, now in its second year, is focused on groups traditionally underrepresented in computing, but with an approach that is intended to have broad appeal.

EarSketch was developed and is overseen by Brian Magerko, an Associate Professor in the Ivan Allen College’s School of Literature, Media, and Communication, and Jason Freeman, an Associate Professor in the College of Architecture’s School of Music.


The Living Classroom by Matthew Burge

Matt has been teaching design and computer art for over 13 years. Matt focuses on the creation of 3D mapped sculptures and environments. He is currently Professor of Motion Media Design at the Savannah College of Art. This particular piece of projection mapping will stand at the entrance to the Living Classroom area and will reflect Matt’s expertise in the production of multimedia environments combining video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. Designed around the shape of a book, the mapped sculpture will shape shift and content shift to depict the multiple potential types of learning sources and environments in the future as well as the changes in the way we will learn and teach.


Matt will be using Resolume Arena 4, which is perfect for projection mapping on many surfaces. The surfaces do not have to be rectangular anymore either, you can warp the video onto curved screens with the advanced bezier transformations.


Long Distance by Bjorn Ahlstedt

Bjorn is a producer and new media artist that specializes in compositing, visual effects and motion graphics in the MET Entertainment Technology Department at Carnegie Mellon University. In 2013 he prototyped an edu-tool for social issues, titled Morality Play. At STEAM3 Bjorn will present Long Distance - a 5 minute future tech visualization, which captures future developments in the use of augmented reality for interactive storytelling and new technologies for telepresence and long distance learning.


Experimental Geography

Experimental Geography sometimes called Experiential Geography is our small display that explores the distinctions between geographical study and artistic experience of the earth, as well as the juncture where the two realms collide (and possibly make a new field altogether). The examples on display will present a panoptic view of this new practice through a wide range of mediums including interactive computer units, sound and video installations, photography, sculpture, and experimental cartography.

Derek Woodgate was inspired to include Experimental Geography in this event after reading the book of the same name edited by Nato Thompson who is a curator at Creative Time, as well as a writer and activist. Thompson was formerly a curator at MASS MoCA, where his exhibitions included The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere and Ahistoric Occasion: Artists Making History.

The task of the geographer is to alert us to what is directly in front of us, while the task of the experimental geographer—an amalgam of scientist, artist, and explorer—is to do so in a manner that deploys aesthetics, ambiguity, poetry, and a dash of empiricism.

The manifestations of “experimental geography” (a term coined by geographer Trevor Paglen in 2002) run the gamut of contemporary art practice today: sewn cloth cities that spill out of suitcases, bus tours through water treatment centers, performers climbing up the sides of buildings, and sound art. In the hands of contemporary artists, the study of humanity’s engagement with the earth’s surface becomes a riddle best solved in experimental fashion.

We see the role of Experimental Geography as one that provides a more immersive and interactive involvement in the deeper as well as the broader layers of the subject matter. It fosters an experiential approach to learning and teaching geography generating fresh perspectives on the scope of the subject and new structures for curricula.  


NanoArt – Cris Orfescu

NanoArt is a new art discipline at the art-science-technology intersections. It features nanolandscapes (molecular and atomic landscapes which are natural structures of matter at molecular and atomic scales) and nanosculptures (structures created by scientists and artists by manipulating matter at molecular and atomic scales using chemical and physical processes). These structures are visualized with research tools like scanning electron microscopes and atomic force microscopes and their scientific images are captured and further processed by using different artistic techniques to convert them into artworks showcased for large audiences.

NanoArt should not be confused with photomicrography which is performed using an optical microscope with a photographic camera attached to it and renders flat images at low magnification. The depth and three dimensions achieved in NanoArt sets this imaging process apart from Photography where images are created by photons (particles of light) rather than by electrons (electrically charged particles) as in NanoArt. The electrons penetrate deeper inside the structure creating images with more depth, more natural 3D-look than the photographic images. Due to the quality of images obtained by studying the nanostructures, most people perceive them as artistic objects. One of the aims of creating NanoArt is to communicate with students and to familiarize people with the omnipresence of the nano world and raise the public awareness of the impact of nanotechnology on our lives. There are legitimate concerns about nano products from health and environmental point of views, and nanotech companies should develop their products responsibly. NanoArt can be considered one of the best vehicles to promote a responsible scientific and technological development to the general public

Some artists alter the scientific images using traditional painting or sculpture, animation, digital drawing (Chris Robinson), and paper collage as well as video (Hugh McGrory), installation art (Victoria Vesna and James Gimzewski), etc.  

At STEAM3, Cris Orfescu will have a mini lab set up. He specializes in using multimedia as well as fractals, digital collage, digital painting and manipulation. His structures are visualized with powerful research tools like high-resolution scanning electron microscopes and atomic force microscopes and their scientific images are captured and further processed by using different artistic techniques to convert them into artworks showcased for large audiences.


Build a Classroom by Bryon Lloyd and Billy Joe Cain

One of the interactive installations on display will be a 3D Classroom that can be modified based upon feedback from the students as they are being told about the classroom itself. The idea is both to understand what students deem to be an optimized learning environment, in terms of facilities, space, aesthetics and even as an answer to the question “what is a classroom?” or “what could it be in the future?. 

The 3D demo environment created by Bryan Lloyd and Billy Joe Cain, will look at multiple options lasting about 10 minutes and act as a loose form of research as well as being an interactive experience for the students. As ADL expands the horizons of the learning environment it will be important to understand how classes, student-centered learning and future optimized learning environments will unfold. The demo will include some pre-set "builds", but will be flexible enough so that students can see changes as they are discussed in real-time. 


Algorithmic Art by Joel Kahn

Joel Kahn is one of the world’s foremost creators of algorithmic art. Originally, using a computer from Radio Shack, he began his first primitive experiments in math-based art some 30 years ago.. Joel's artistic process is founded upon an obsessive curiosity. Questions continually pop into his mind--What will happen if a particular set of formulas is connected to certain set of colors?  

At STEAM3, Joel will demonstrate how he creates his outputs and we will display some of his best-known pieces.

Joel has moved his artistic activities towards an educational context, enabling students to better see how mathematics can be visualized in different forms. The outputs generated serve as solid evidence that math does not have to be presented to students as an oppressively boring ordeal, and that creativity should be intertwined with mathematical learning as closely as possible.


The Sensory Dome

The idea for a sensory dome was inspired by the work of Scenocosme who created an installation called SphèrAléas in Paris, a couple of years back. Scenocosme collaborated with The Futures Lab during Plutopia 2011 with their highly popular interactive Hanging Garden. We have adapted some of the ideas from the rather more comprehensive SphèrAléas, which is rather too complex for a two day event.

The Sensory Dome is made of a half-spherical structure and of an evolutionary device, which makes man, image and sound interact thanks to digital tools. The idea is to enable students to better understand the impact of affect while watching or interacting with images and sound. They can create, change and extend the visuals and sounds they generate and can be asked how these outputs make them feel and effect what they are seeing.  Students can sit or stand around the Dome and together play with the different variables such as: side-by-side positioning, overlapping, speed, rhythm, harmonic pitch, color…

The system uses sensors, video, audio and projection, all programmed for interaction.


Edge of Imagination Station - Johnny Villarreal

Johnny had evolved the Edge of Imagination Station over a period of many years, with at least three different renditions presented at various Plutopia events and for The Futures Lab’s clients. At STEAM3, Johnny will have three different stations, all stop motion animation sequences, but using varying interfaces, customized software and support technologies, thus creating a variety of potential outputs. The work created by students as a piece of art, or teachers to explain an idea can involve anything from chalk drawing, colored paper, silhouettes, chablons, 2D images, 3D objects, sound, etc., which can be brought to life as a flip book, a movie and generated instantly.

       Urban Generation and Divided Worlds  Created by Stanza  Urban Generation; trying to imagine the world from everyone else's perspective, all at once". by Stanza  Urban Generation explores the emotional state of the metropolis and considers a world of universal surveillance. The artwork collects live CCTV feeds from 200 cameras in London in real time and reworks these video streams into multi-layered visual structures. The channels are always on, and therefore, the work is always changing - it depicts a constant and evolving view of the urban landscape and its inhabitants.  Multiple CCTV cameras are accessed randomly in real time to make this urban tapestry. What you see is an evolving, generative artwork. These images are from taken from the city of London, and they happen as you see them, in real time. The observed real time surveillance society is re worked into a series of grids. Here the image are remediated into what you see, which is this online artwork that looks like a filmic experience. However its not a film its a real time experience of the city from multiple perspectives.     "Divided Worlds" trying to imagine the world from everyone else's perspective, all at once 2004. This dufferent version uses 1000 cameras from around the world in a different larger networks .   Divided Worlds considers a world of universal surveillance. The artwork collects live feeds from cities around the world in real-time and reworks these video streams into multi-layered visual structures. The channels are always on, and therefore, the work is always changing - it depicts a constant and evolving view of the world and its inhabitants. What you see is an evolving, generative artwork. The observed real time surveillance society is re worked into a series of grids.      

Serious Games Showcase and Challenge 2013 Finalists

Algeburst: Topics in Algebra

Muzzy Lane Software

Description: In this brain tickling, fast paced math puzzle, you must color the stones, but first you must make sure your math is correct or else things will get cold.

Playing the Game: Preferred evaluation platform for this Web-based game is a PC with the most current versions of Chrome and Firefox.

Winner: Student’s Choice Award, Orange County Public Schools

Perfect World

BreakAway Games

Description: Take on the role of a drop of water going through the water cycle using action cards to move about. Each turn brings new questions for players to earn more action cards.

Playing the Game:Preferred evaluation platform for this Web-based game is a PC with the most current versions of Chrome and Firefox.

A Slower Speed of Light

MIT Game Lab

Description: Collect 100 orbs that gradually allow you to experience how it is to travel at the speed of light, like being able to see more of the light spectrum and the Doppler effect.

Playing the Game:Preferred evaluation platform is a PC running Windows 7 or a MAC running OS 10.6.8 or higher.