We were inspired by Hack@Brown's theme of recess, as well as Cas Holman's keynote talk of kid-centered, immersive play. We found each other at the Team Forming period due to all of us sharing the common interest of creating an Ed-Tech focussed hack.
Thousands of children in the United States fall behind in school every year, missing academic and social development goals, with these issues increasing as the children age. Our team decided to tackle this issue by creating an Interactive, Immersive, Game for Early-Child Development
Our hack - WonderWorld - is a cheap, reusable hardware hack based around the Leap Motion Sensor and Amazon Alexa integrated in a Unity game. Our VR game transports children into a maze, encountering academic (math, science, social studies, language development) challenges, developing their cognitive, social, and fine-motor skill abilities. The Amazon Alexa acts as a guide in the children's experience, as well as prompting them for verbal responses - creating an end to end educational immersive experience Educators can easily port our hack to their classroom activities, enabling a more personal activity for the end user- the children.
What We Learned
To create the game, we extensively researched early-child development, and how to make an effective developmental activity. Through a game-based approach, students will be motivated to learn, explore, and discover as well as create an engaging cognitive, social, and fine-motor skill activity.
Learning and Having Fun are not mutually exclusive.
For the Future
We hope to create more hardware accessories for WonderWorld to enhance the immersive experience. We also hope to create more mini games in the maze, further helping master academic and fine-motor skill abilities. We also hope to partner with institutions such as libraries and museums to integrate our 21st Century game into their child education curriculum.