Stepping Into Science

February 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Last Friday I attended a “virtual science” event in Second Life called Stepping Into Science. From my own living room I went on several interactive field trips, exploring what other organizations are doing to bring science education to life in second life.

stepping-into-vw1_0022 Conference Keynote: Dr. Troy McLuhan- Troy McLuhan produces science exhibits and also sets up and promotes science-related events in Second Life.

Troy was very involved with the International Spaceflight Museum (ISM) from October, 2005 until September, 2007. He volunteers with the SL NASA CoLab project. He co-founded the SciLands, a continent of sims associated with science and technology organizations such as NASA, NOAA and The Tech Museum of Innovation. He maintains the Science Center Group wiki, which includes a calendar of all science-related events in SL, a database of all science-related places in SL, and more.

before-tsunami Simulated Tsunami

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an interactive space in Second Life which includes a real time weather map, eye of a hurricane and a simulated tsunami. We were able to walk on the ocean bed and see the earthquake activity that causes a tsunami. (only in second life can you walk under water without proper gear!)

This is a picture after the tsunami earthquake under the ocean, and you can see the water line receding. 

tsunamiSimulated Tsunami Continued

After the water receded it created a huge wave that eventually covered us all (including the small town behind us). Very realistic and kind of scary!

 

weather_0013Real Time Weather Reporting Map

Here I am standing in Texas on a real time weather map that simulates what is currently going on in real life. You can see it was sunny in Texas, but snowing in New York and DC. This is a place I would love to take some Girlstart girls soon. It shows the whole country and is a huge walk through weather map. 

In addition to these field trips, I also had the opportunity to visit IYA2009 (International Year of Astronomy 2009), as well as participate as part of the live audience for Science Friday on NPR. Science Friday is a weekly radio show that is broadcast live from Second Life onto public radio stations across the U.S. Conference attendees will be able to participate in the show, including possibly asking questions of the show’s guests.

Special thanks to the conference staff at Stepping Into Science for giving me a scholarship to attend this virtual conference. 

~Julie

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Girlstart congratulates Rob Cunningham, Outstanding Community Affairs Executive! Expanding Your Horizons PSA

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