Thursday, December 10, 2009

Space, the Final Frontier

We submitted four entries into the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge (FVWC), an event led by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Simulation and Training Technology Center.

Over the next few days, we will be reviewing our submissions with the FVWC reviewers in Second Life. The goal spans far more than the contest and focuses on building a repository of simulations and modules for learning.

Our four entries include:
  1. The Mars Expedition Strategy Challenge -- a space simulation and collaboration with the Global Learning Forum
  2. A Lamp to a Stool -- a 3D object design class
  3. Dances with Wolves -- an animation device class
  4. Scripting Magic -- a programming for non-programmer's class
The first image features the avatars of design masterminds Dr. Andrew Stricker (right) and Mr. Mike McCrocklin (center back) traveling through space in the Deep Space Explorer with my avatar, Lyr Lobo (left). As a self-assessment tool for participants, I designed a Mars Expedition Strategy trivia game for individuals and teams to enjoy. Andy and Mike from Air University invited Jeanne Holm, Chief Knowledge Architect from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and me to collaborate on a paper for the 2010 Military Modeling and Simulation Symposium that describes Expedition Strategy Challenge.

The second image shows the Huffman Prairie Red Lion Deep Space Explorer in flight. Participants board the Orion rocket with its three-stage rocket design. As it leaves Earth's orbit, the rocket approaches the Huffman Prairie Deep Space Explorer, the spaceship that will make the journey to a space station on Mars.

On board, participants study three planning strategies for deep space exploration while Hal, the on-board computer, regales them with his suggestions. As the team disembarks on Mars, the observation deck features the Mars Expedition Strategy Trivia game and a tour of the mining station.

The three simulation modules use a mix of visual, verbal/analytic and kinesthetic interactive information to help participants learn basic-to-intermediate 3D object creation skills, animation device creation skills and scripted device creation skills.

For images from additional research and classes in virtual worlds and emerging media, visit Lyr Lobo's Slideshare presentations.