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SIMULATORS
CLASS ACT
Whether it’s bringing a subject to life or animating complicated issues,
simulation offers great educational potential. Kath Hudson looks at
new projects made for children plus some inventive case studies
T
wenty children enthralled by a fi lm, The 3D interactive attraction makes cut- educational message. To this end, there
wearing 3D glasses, sit inside a ting edge science digestible for nine- to were a lot of test sessions with schools and
simulator capsule, which bucks 14-year-olds. The central character of the children, and the experts of the Foundation
and rolls on top of an articulated fi lm is Champi, an animated child, who reviewed the script and the production at
lorry. This science class has been touring takes them on a tour of the human body, various stages, from both a scientifi c and
the Iberian peninsula since April 2008. witnessing many contemporary medical an educational point of view.
Commissioned by The Champalimaud science issues, such as stem cell research, The show’s completely interactive – the
Foundation and created by Belgium-based, nanotechnology, DNA and gene therapy. children have to act together to move the
technology company de pinxi, the 1m de pinxi’s co-founder Philippe Chiwy story on. “This creates stronger emotion
(£861,000, US$1.4m) Future of Medicine says the main challenges were coming up and memories,” says Chiwy. “The kids
aims to explain the future challenge of with characters and a storyline which the shout the name of Champi together to
medicine to children in an inspiring way, so children would respond to, and balancing avoid obstacles. They’ll remember this a lot
they will consider science as a career. the entertainment and emotion with the more than a linear, passive movie.”
The attraction has been constantly
touring schools and science museums in
THE SUM OF ALL THRILLS
ence via a touchscreen. They have the Portugal and Spain since April 2008 and
choice of riding a virtual rollercoaster, the response has been overwhelmingly
The educational theme is continued at bobsled or a jet and can pick inversions, positive. “I don’t say that very often, but
Walt Disney’s new Innoventions Pavilion corkscrews and steep hills. The content the reaction here was huge!” says Chiwy.
in Epcot, Florida. US defence contractor chosen determines the ride’s speed. “There’s specifi c local press coverage for
Raytheon has sponsored a new ride, The The information is stored on a mag- nearly every destination and as soon as it
Sum of all Thrills, which shows children netic strip, which is swiped at the launch reaches a town, the locals are queuing up
how maths and engineering make things station. Once inside the simulator, a 3D to experience the show.”
they care about happen and come to life. video hood is placed over the rider’s
The ride is a rollercoaster simulator. head and upper torso, allowing them to Animated character Champi takes children
Guests programme their own experi- experience their ride. on a tour of the human body in de pinxi’s
Future of Medicine simulation experience
76 Read Attractions Management online attractionsmanagement.com/digital AM 1 2010
©
cybertrek 2010
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