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Research: Technology

SPASES: Semiotic Pivot Activity Spaces


Using computer vision, Wii remotes, RFID tags, and other sensing technologies, this project aimed to engage first and second grade students in learning the physics of force and motion. As desktop simulations have made force and motion accessible to middle school students, the goal was to use students' physical actions in the world as an interface to computer simulations, in order to make these ideas accessible to even younger students.

Young students are good at pretend play. The defining feature of pretend play is not that it is fun (although it often is). The defining feature of play is that it has both an imaginary situation and a set of rules. It is focus on a set of rules that makes play an interesting "pivot" and allow us to put play to work. Like play, the physical world (and computer simulations of force and motion) follow a set of rules. SPASES used computer-enhanced, embodied play as a means for children to uncover the hidden rules of the physical world.

SPASES was a collaboration with Professor Noel Enyedy, Joshua Danish, and Girlie Delacruz Adreani.