Augmented Age of Inventions and Discoveries: Navigating the History of Technologies in Maritime Museums is a combined project of a schools’ Erasmus+ strategic partnership throughout Europe; Spain, Greece, Turkey, Poland, Finland and the Netherlands.
From astrolabes of classical antiquity to the EU Space Agency’s satellite Copernicus, exchanges of ideas and technology come through collaboration among scientists, travellers and the use of a lingua franca, Greek or Latin originally, so English today. Maritime navigation has been a keystone in history for long distance mobility, exchanges and human progress. Inventions and discoveries have shaped Europe in history, coming most of them from the maritime world, ancestors to most of our current technologies, like mobile telephony and robotics. Calculation of time and distances are core in sea navigation, evolving to digital applications that are the legacy of centuries of inventions and discoveries, especially from the Age of Discoveries (s. XVII). Awareness of the extraordinary people and the shared European cultural heritage behind our everyday utilities is behind every learning activity.
All of the participant’s countries have prominent historical figures in the field of exploration, as well as inventors supporting geographical explorations. Inventors and discoverers are the inspiration for a storytelling where they travel across time and space to meet each other in their homelands and to find in maritime museums of Athens, Gdansk, Helsinki, Mersin, Barcelona and Amsterdam the hidden pieces to be assembled after the journey (the project) to create artifacts together: robot monsters that will battle against a terrific sea legend living beyond the horizon.
International clans of students collaborate with these inventors to find the pieces, by solving problems, riddles or creating questions. This story wraps a game created with Augmented Reality (AR) technology taking place in maritime museums, the background of a gamified methodology.
Educational robotics facilitates the acquisition of skills, and motivation towards STEM learning. As a secondary outcome, robotics enriches motivation to acquire English skills by a CLIL approach, and also facilitates the awareness of digital risks and e-safety that is gathered in a cybersecurity recommendations handbook made collaboratively by teenagers, addressed to teenagers. At last, but not least, the awareness of the sea natural environment and also the blue economy was behind the whole project development.
Activities that have taken place
Learning activities abroad were the creation of an augmented reality game by using Metaverse platform and mobile technology, study visits to museums related to technology and maritime navigation where students used an hands-on approach to analyze the exhibition by creating sets of questions and answers for the game, built and coded racing robots and used 3D printers to create artifacts to be hidden and found in maritime museums. Where available, study visits in training vessels gave an opportunity to students to first hand experience the blue economy jobs and tasks. Also the production of a cybersecurity recommendations guide from teenagers to teenagers sparked awareness about global digital risks and cybersecurity among young people.
After the pandemic declaration, online activities replaced mobilites abroad. A 3D immersive approach was used to tackle the missing learning activities abroad trying to maintain the gamified, hands-on, 3D dimension of the initial planning: digital educational escape rooms based on 3D virtual visits in museums and cities. Students created collaboratively questions and answers related to the study visits, and also bonding activities were good to spark the interest for English learning. The methodology miniguide aims to share the lesson plans with a wider audience to enable the replication of our project, as individual lessons or as project-based learning plans, very suitable to be used in hybrid contexts.
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