The full title of this project is Promoting Scientific Explorers Among Students With Learning Disabilities. This is a grant project between The University of Texas at Austin’s Simulation and Game Applications (SAGA) Lab and The Meadows Center. There are currently three apps in development. They are meant to be paired with hands on activities and lessons provided by the teachers. I worked along side Paul Toprac, Gahwon Lee, and Louis Dongwook An in order to create educational simulations the project’s curriculum of wind and water erosion. I also worked with The Meadows Center to design assessment graphics and instructional material.
We first started with meeting with Christian Doabler, Maria Longhi, and Katherine Hess, the coordinators of the project. I based my designs off of Katherine’s initial mockup, and our following meetings focused on condensing the important information into an accessible app for young students. Christian, Maria, and Katherine shared the studies from their research contacts so we could correctly portray the causes and effects of erosion in the simulation. I created animations to help test out different interface designs and demonstrate the functionality of the app. Once things were approved, I optimized the assets for our programmer, Gahwon, to put into Unity and create an intractable demo on an iPad.
Rebuild the Reef
The second app we created focused on the rebuilding of coral reefs. It followed a similar production process as our first app. We wanted to emphasize the concept the importance of the coral reef to both marine life and life on land. It provides a habitat for underwater creatures, but can also protect the shore from extreme weather like hurricanes. Coral reefs take several years to recover, and even if they do, they will not be at the same quality as they were before. In this simulation, we try to teach students the difference between short term and long term solutions for coral reef growth.
Our most recent app focuses on how rainfall can cause erosion, transporting small particles of rocks from one place to another. Students will see how greater amounts of rainfall can cause more rocks to move at greater distances.
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