‘Leaving the Earth’ – a Virtual World project

This week’s blog post was written by Chrisi Tambakakis, teacher at Doveton College.

‘Leaving The Earth’ is a cross curriculum program by SoundGarage that was developed for the students in Year 7 at Doveton College. The program focuses on learning in Humanities with major links to Science, Art, Music, Robotics, English, Food Technology and Drama.

The premise is simple: the world is no longer inhabitable. As a result humans must migrate to Mars where individual tribes must form a new society.  Using Design Thinking as a basis for learning and creativity, students were asked to plot their own journey into a new world. 

Our experience at Doveton College suggested that using a “gaming” approach to learning would usually ensure high student engagement. The use of Imprudence Virtual World offered an opportunity to tap into the interest base of the students by using the medium of a “gaming” experience to deliver curriculum, and have students apply their ICT knowledge and skills.

Leaving the Earth  –  Mars

In 2014 we embarked on a new journey “Leaving the Earth – Mars” (LTEM). We used the virtual world as a tool to enhance the learning experience of students, and give them the chance to apply their learning to “virtual” real life situations.

The LTEM program focused on the domain, Civics and Citizenship. The project was designed to develop cooperative learning strategies and teaching techniques. It challenged students to solve problems in a group to achieve a desired outcome.

The project posed this problem: ‘Unfortunately the tribes face a huge issue, the Earth has been decimated by man, and Earth is no longer livable. The only chance for survival is to leave the Earth and build new human colonies on Mars’. The goal of the project was survival of the tribe and successful resettlement on Mars.  All students were part of the earth tribe, and were required to develop a tribal identity and culture. As a group they were required to design, build and supply a space transport pod that would transport the tribe and all their needs to Mars.

Once the tribes arrived on Mars, the development of a new society began. Tribes had to rely on their own members and members of other tribes for survival.

Cross curricular learning

Using an inquiry through line of Leaving the Earth – Mars, most curriculum subject areas could access the topic and use the project as a point of reference for teaching topic related concepts.

For further information on this project, please contact gene@osundgarage.com.au

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