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Creating genetic applications for informal science learning in multi-user virtual environments or virtual worlds

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2 Author(s)
Maher, C. ; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY, USA ; Corbit, M.

At the Cornell Theory Center (CTC), Cornell University's high-performance computing and interdisciplinary research center, we have implemented a 3D multi-user virtual science museum, SciCentr. SciCentr is a virtual world based on Active Worlds client/server technology. Virtual worlds captivate users through touch (keyboard interaction), sound and sight. These virtual environments can be applied to formal and informal science education in areas such as genetics, as well as to language learning and social studies. We present a case study of our experience and attempt to identify some of the advantages of using this technology, design features of our implementation, and experiences we have had in managing the social interaction among educational users. More specifically, we discuss pilot user experiences focused on crop genetics in SciCentr's Plant Breeding Beds and on the related SciFair exhibits, both examples of collaborative experiences in our virtual worlds

Published in:

Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises, 2001. WET ICE 2001. Proceedings. Tenth IEEE International Workshops on

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