What do you get when you combine scientists, informal science educators and national park rangers (interpreters) and set them out to work together in the field?
You end up with a system for engaging 270 million national park visitors in dynamic conversations about cutting edge scientific research and fostering interest in conserving parks, benefiting wildlife, and preserving a national heritage.
With this vision in mind, iSWOOP pilots a model with transformative potential for national parks.
Interpreters and Scientists Working On-Site at Our Parks (iSWOOP)
This National Science Foundation grant-funded project (advancing informal stem learning program) is enabling CDI design researchers Nick Hristov and Louise Allen to collaborate with TERC and Winston-Salem State University to create an educational program for rangers at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, where Brazilian free-tailed bats emerge spectacularly from the large cavern each summer evening.
This project is based on imagery from high-speed cameras, thermal cameras, and laser scanners, 3D modeling and associated visual modalities and is supporting CDI researchers in working with interpreters at the National Park to use high-tech imagery in explaining the scientific phenomena. This project creates an innovative learning program (STEAM) for interpreters/rangers (storytellers). The educational methods will be broadly applicable in other learning settings.
CDI design researcher Bruno Louchouarn is collaborating with systems architect Richard Phillips to technically explore interactions of data downloaded from the Mars Rover as part of an immersive music and media work, Sol Path, commissioned for the AxS/ak-sis/FESTIVAL 2014, in Pasadena, CA.
Featuring a renowned violist and an award-winnning projection designer, Sol Path explores the intricate interactions between an Earth-bound team of explorers and a robotic space lab as it searches for signs of life millions of miles away. According to the project’s website, Sol Path is inspired by the exploratory path that the Mars Rover takes over the course of a sol
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Joey Vrsecky was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. At the age of seven, his dad asked him to fill in for his professional navigator at a car rally. With sheer precision (and a little bit of luck), they won first place, thus began Joey’s lifelong passion for cars and the automotive industry. Joey pursued Transportation Design at Pratt Institute and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. While studying at Pratt he developed his signature pieces, Worx, a carbon fiber task lamp that was exhibited at New York City Design Center, and Medulla, a high-performance
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Bob Surminski was a graduate student studying Geo-Information Science (GIS) at Wageningen University & Research in Wageningen, the Netherlands. Surminski received a B.S. (2009) in Human Geography & Spatial Planning from Utrecht University. As part of his Masters program he interned at the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem. His internship project involved the development of a ‘bicycle tour’ through Winston-Salem, which could be downloaded using the ‘Layar’ application that offers the special feature of Augmented Reality. Bob developed his interest in finding ways to merge his backgrounds in Spatial Planning and Geo-Information Science.