Join Local Projects for an in-depth discussion in this video Case study: Prototyping for SciGames, part of Creative Insights: Local Projects Interactive Media Designers.
Female 1: The New York Hall of Science, has a grant, for a project called which consists of three games. The intention of the games are to, replace curriculum, so, instead, of learning physics, through textbooks; they're learning physics, through playground activities. Female 2: The targeted age range, for schools, is seventh and eighth graders. That's when people are starting to learn about things like kenetic and thermal energy, mass and force and friction, units like that.
That learning from a text book are pretty dry, but actually, are present in things that kids like doing, like playing on the playground. Female 1: the first game, we started with a fairly clear idea of the client, that the activity, would involve mats, with different friction levels., as the repeatedly go down the slide choosing different materials and choosing students with different masses, they see a change in those values. On the playground, they can compare two different runs but the deeper dive happens in a classroom webapp that the students participate in after the playground.
We started with interaction design and interface design. And once we came up with, that system, we started incorporating, the tech side of the project. The kids, that we were designing with, involve at least one iPad. So, the question, became, how many do we need, and how exactly are they communicating with each other and with the sensors on the playground. And that process, was thought trough in interaction design, and graphic design. So we designed a game, and did paper prototyping, around, a system that we came up with, once we felt that, that was working, then we turned it over to development.
To start working with sensors, understanding how exactly, the sensor would be paired, to the, i pad and how the i pads would be communicating with one another. Female 2: This setup here, is actually, the same components that are being used in the slide game, so that, one of the primary ideas, with the sensor kit that we're using is that it's universal, from game to game, so what we ended up using for the hardware in addition to the Arduino, which is acting sort of as the, the brain of the whole system is this little chip called the ten degrees of freedom, IMU sensor, Inertial Measurement Unit sensor, which is, measuring the acceleration, of, the mat, it's measuring the, the tilt or the orientation of the mat.
It's also measuring the altitude. Eh, the height of the mat, so it's kind of, a combination of a number of different factors, that give us, the sort of profile, of, you know, when the student, is at the top of the slide, when the student is at the bottom of the slide, and how fast they're going down. And, also, getting a pretty rapid sampling of data points down, the slide, that we can ,um, send back, to the iPad, to replay, their run, as, if it was in real time. And have ,sort of a realistic impression, of ,what they were doing to win those challenges. There's a number of stages of testing and I think, this project, is one where we really, learned the importance of sort of separating stages of testing.
Like this level of testing, is very, very rough internal prototyping testing, and that's sort of stage one of just understanding ,like ,does it work for us. And then there's sort of the next level ,where we have some rudimentary designs and maybe also a slightly more stable version, of the, hardware, and we have some kind of quality assurance testing. And then there's an additional testing, process, that the the Cy-play team, is doing, where they actually are assessing. The learning goals, of ,the curriculum and whether the technology, is, is meeting those goals. When we have kids testing, a working prototype, the designers, graphic designers and interaction designers, can be also talking to the kids and finding out what interaction models, will work best.
For that, system and to serve, everything comes out, of a much closer relationship.