Friday, April 24, 2009

Augmented Reality at PHS

After a pretty successful augmented reality trial with Frieda and John at WKES, I wanted to try it out at my school. I developed an activity that would lead students through a decision making process about Energy Choices and I was anxious to try it with students. Students would be placed in groups of four and their decision at each step would lead them to a unique set of choices and different results. The scenario starts out ...
"The year is 2020. Last year world petroleum production peaked for the first time in history and production is down this year. Prices are now over $200 dollars per barrel and gasoline is almost $9 per gallon. With petroleum prices so high, many energy options that were once impossible are now available."

The student teams were advising the President as Cabinet Secretaries of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Transportation. Each student had his or her own unique advisor briefing manual to help in the decision making process. After initially choosing an energy focus from the areas of biomass, fuel cells, nuclear, or solar/wind, this determined the other types of questions that the team must consider. The students used an iPAQ Travel Companion running an mscape simulation that I had created. After very little help, the students were able to follow the GPS and navigate through to each new position.

When we got back to class, the science teacher Deanna Watson was pleased with the overall effort of the students. Many of the students seemed to pick up important ideas and the overall understanding that trying to figure out the U.S. energy policy is very complex. For the most part, the students were very engaged with the activity. The iPAQs and software worked without a hitch. The highest praise came when one student describing the activity said "I thought this was going to be lame, but it was really good."

1 comment:

  1. Great description of your AR trial! I enjoy the collegiality that we share that keeps us moving forward and growing.