Virtual Science Museum

Part of the Pervasive Technology Labs' mission is science education. Here, we present some preliminary results of a Virtual Science Museum.

The basic idea of a virtual science museum (VSM) is an online museum that extends and enhances a real museum experience. We envision the VSM to have multiple rooms or "portals" that target different science domains and projects. One could imagine portals into chemistry, physics, life sciences, astronomy, and more. If a visitor needs a refresher in some math, we could have portals devoted to various branches of mathematics. But for starters, we have begun with a virtual chemistry lab.

You may need to click your mouse cursor in the scene to give it focus. Click the 'Exit' button to exit the Help screen and enter the VSM. Pressing the 'h' key will display the Help screen again. Use your Up|Left|Right arrow keys to move around and click on various interactive objects in the VSM. For example, if you navigate yourself to be directly in front of the Periodic Table on the wall, you'll see the 'H' (Hydrogen) element is clickable. Similarly, the handle on the wall cabinet next to the whiteboard is clickable and lets you retrieve a pair of safety glasses. Pressing 'i' will toggle your inventory of safety supplies.
(Warning: the current version of Flash (7.x) for Linux has problems, e.g. displaying text/numeric fields associated with some of the stations in the scene).

A sample snapshot - based on our visit to the chemistry lab at IUPUI:

The virtual chemistry lab is currently a collaboration between the SDA Lab and the IUPUI Chemistry and IUPUI Computer Science departments.

Copyright 2005, The Trustees of Indiana University
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