Future gazing at Futurefest

A couple of months ago our team was involved with an installation at NESTA event, Futurefest, our CTO and lead digital artist worked in collaboration with a team from all over the country to create the installation shown in the pictures below.

Jenny Bartle, our intrepid software engineer, scientist and explorer went to FutureFest to check out our work and to report back on her insights into the future of digital communication, interaction and education………

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Photo credit: NESTA

Recently, iSci was fortunate enough to participate in FutureFest, a weekend dedicated to exploring the potential of humankind, and how we can flourish in the digital world we are forging. Our contribution was in the form of “Collective Reality”, an installation piece similar in its technologies to danceroom Spectroscopy, which aimed to show how we might share physical spaces to experience a common digital reality. Conference attendees were mesmerised by the magnificent projections all over the room’s walls, and intrigued by the impressions their bodies made on the dynamic patterns.

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Photo credit: NESTA

Meanwhile, around the festival there were many talks to be seen concerning the future of education, which obviously iSci is engaging with! Debates revealed that teachers are veering away from fact-based teaching to research-based teaching, aiming to give children the skills to find things out for themselves, making use of their innate curiosity. There is also a huge trend towards diversification of learning tools, with students tasked to watch video lectures at home to consolidate and supplement what they learn in their lessons.

Many talks at the conference also expounded the need to keep creativity alive in order to encourage productivity. Play itself is key, as learning through failure is hugely valuable. This experience can only truly be achieved in a game environment where trying and trying again until one wins is inseparable from the medium.

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Photo credit: NESTA

So, what of the future of Nano Simbox? Well, if what we learned at FutureFest is true, it seems Nano Simbox is certainly going in the right direction. It is playful, it engages curiosity, it gets children to ask questions and be little researchers, and it will be an easy tool for teachers to get their pupils to learn all about molecules without having to heave out a single textbook. Encouraging the young to love science is definitely where we think the future lies, and iSci will continue to be at the forefront of making that happen!

NESTA PHOTOS CREDIT: Christopher Ratcliffe