Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, New York
ChronoLeap: The Great World’s Fair Adventure examined the use of 3D virtual environments as an educational tool to expand the understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Since their inception, Worlds Fair’s have been born from a societal desire to showcase the newest wonders of science and technology. Occurring at the beginning of the Space Age, the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair presented an ideal environment through which to convey a wide array of STEM content and experiences. Visitors to this Fair were welcomed to a celebration of better living through chemistry, computers, the wonders of travel into outer space and exploration into the deepest regions of our own oceans.
Designed for users from 8 to 12, ChronoLeap permitted youths to complete quests and games as they explored the vast virtual World’s Fair environment. The myriad of pavilions at the Fair served as vehicles through which to address basic Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts; demonstrate the evolution of science and technology from the time of the Fair to the present; and examine why some of the visions of the future presented at the Fair were achieved, others were exceeded, and others never reached. Moreover, the project examined the effectiveness of STEM transfer through intergenerational interaction in virtual environments.
In addition to its contributions to STEM education, ChronoLeap incorporated basic research in computer science and more specifically in serious game design and human-computer interaction. The serious games contributions include the real-time capture and delivery of a game with realistic, complex graphical models and content within the context of an experience that keeps the attention of youth (high quality graphics and motivating game mechanics) while providing a meaningful learning experience.
ChronoLeap served as the virtual learning environment for the doctoral dissertation research of Dr. Robert Michlowitz – Supporting Learning in Educational 3D Virtual Environments: The Impact of Intergenerational Joint Media Engagement.
ChronoLeap was supported by the National Science Foundation