A new design project focused on building STEM learning tools has been introduced to the Media Communications department in CIT. This project was developed by the department in conjunction with the UMI-Sci-Ed project to support piloting activities. Final-year students completing a degree in Creative Digital Media have been tasked with designing and prototyping a tool for an educational setting (e.g. schools, museums, science centres) based on the principles of Tangible Interaction. This is an interaction concept that focuses on removing traditional computing elements, such as screens and keyboards, from interfaces, and replacing them with more natural and intuitive interactions.
The project is aimed at designing a series of tools to support learning for particular STEM subjects, including the water cycle, graphs and data, space exploration and carbon footprint. It takes place over seven weeks, at the end of which students will present concept videos outlining their vision of how STEM can be taught in intuitive and novel ways. The outputs from this project will provide tools and materials to support UMI-Sci-Ed educational scenarios, as well as open up opportunities for future collaborative activities within the design community in Cork.