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Informal Learning
Project Idea

Susan Connell
Spring 2005

This project will involve an interactive “virtual reality” exhibit about the Pleistocene Era in Anza Borrego. Participants will use a Virtual Time and Space Machine to go from the present day desert to the Pleistocene where they’ll be able to explore the scenery, vegetation and other creatures as seen through the eyes of one of its inhabitants – a camel.

In the Park’s Visitor’s Center, they’ll be able to view the surroundings as well as 3D representations of selected objects in an interactive fashion on a big screen display. Audio accompaniment will be cued by certain selections to describe the various objects and settings as well as their historical context. Students who complete a complementary study guide worksheet will receive a Pleistocene Era honorary resident passport or similar token reward. Study guides can be developed with varying levels of complexity for varying age groups.

Alternative configurations could involve:

  • using the VR environment as a basis for a search or hunt of some type that would lead the participants to a better understanding of the Era,
  • having some aspect of the VR experience on the Park’s web site, either as a teaser to encourage coming to the museum, or as an alternative for people who can’t get there,
  • creating the VR environment through holographic means to have guided “tours” in the actual outdoor setting (something akin to the Wild Animal Park After Dark campouts with a twist).




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© 2003, Susan Connell, Educational Technology Student at San Diego State University