MAKESHOP was recently transformed into an interactive spaceship. Gary Gardner and his Dream Flight Adventures prototype returned to MAKESHOP for another day of playtesting with our visitors. He has already playtested his program at the Museum and a post describing that visit can be found here. He brought with him a newer version of the flight simulator software that he is currently developing for the Shaler School District.
The last time Gary was here we discussed changing up the set up of the room, tech stuff, and general visitor interaction. For this visit, we set up MAKESHOP a little differently. I procured a larger projection screen and we set up the tables to better encourage visitors to work together while they played. Gary also brought a joystick that allowed visitors to pilot the spaceship within the digital realm. This added a little more fun to the experience.
We didn’t simply explore space this time around. A group of visitors were challenged to locate a giant squid while navigating underwater. During this adventure, the pilot and navigator both asked why there weren’t headlights on the ship. Gary made a quick note and told the two boys that he just might take their advice into consideration when he creates the next version of the program. This is a great example of why we test projects with kids.
The group discovered the giant squid after a lot of searching and teamwork between the pilots and the biologist. Now if we could only incorporate some literature and search for a white whale. I’m sure Gary could write a program for that adventure.
Thanks again to Gary and the whole Dream Flight Adventures team for visiting MAKESHOP once again. Be sure to check the Museum’s web calender to see when the next playtest will be.