MissionV and beyond

Posted by Máistir Ó Beirn On May - 7 - 2012

Exploring the Titanic.In September 2011, our school was one of twenty in Ireland selected by MissionV to take part in the use of game based learning and virtual worlds technology for the support of students.  The pupils enjoyed building a 3D interactive world exploring atoms and molecules which tied in with our ‘Acids & Bases’ experiment demonstrated at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in the RDS.

The children were introduced to the Scratch programming language which allowed them to add interactive aspects to their 3D world.

These skills were applied to the Lego NXT Programming Software which the pupils used to command a lego robot for their ‘Acids & Bases’ experiment.  All of this has led to the students producing their own HTML5 games.

It was an honour to be invited to make a presentation on our project at the Computers in Education Society of Ireland conference in Portlaoise in February. The CESI National Conference showcases best practice and highlights the latest technology innovations in education and it was inspiring to be a part of it.

Last week MissionV came to an end for this academic year.  On Wednesday last, thanks to the amazing generosity of Stiofáin MacTomáis at 3DColab in Belfast we were given access to their incredible Titanic simulation (which includes the Harland and Wolff shipyard) in MissionV so that the students could take a virtual tour of the iconic boat. It was the perfect treat with which to conclude the programme.

MissionV is an ideal tool for helping to explain abstract concepts in Science and Maths. It encourages both self-directed learning and teamwork while allowing teachers to create subject-specific or cross-curricular projects. Applications are now open for MissionV 2012-2013. The programme is supported by the National Centre for Technology in Education (NTCE) and schools can apply online here.  I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

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