We present a sandbox both on the computer and in reality to disseminate our research results. Specifically, we aim on three target groups: (I) publics in primary schools, (II) pupils in secondary schools, as well as (III) students and interested individuals.
A substantial part of current research is the virtualization of production processes, products, or phenomena in nature via computational models. For example, our research group aims on modeling production processes for drugs in order to achieve maximum product safety at minimum production costs. The result of our research are simulation programs, which are often accessible only by experts, and hence are difficult to communicate to a broader audience. Virtualization of processes and products is, however, of outstanding importance, and, for example, will be one of the cornerstones of the next industrial revolution.
Our proposal presents a sandbox both on the computer and in reality. Specifically, we aim on three target groups: (I) publics in primary schools, (II) pupils in secondary schools, as well as (III) students and interested individuals. Target group I will be confronted with the following questions to deliver the message of the project: What is the recipe for a sand castle?, Why do sand castles fall when the sun shines on them?, or What differentiates a solid from a liquid?.
Target group II will be confronted with the newly developed virtual sandbox that consists of a simulation application that is embedded in an augmented reality environment. Thereby the pupils in target group II will be enabled to perform real-life, as well as a virtual experiments to experience the advantages of computer simulations. Central element is to seek for an answer to the questions Why do we need computer simulations?, and How do computer simulations work?. In addition, a number of exercises are proposed to answer the following questions: What are important particle properties, and how can they be measures?, or How dense can we pack particles, and why is this important?. The strategy to transport the content will be developed to conform with Austrias national education strategy focusing on competence-based teaching.
Finally, the usage of the virtual sandbox, as well as details regarding the underlying technology will be offered to target group III via a variety of events. For example, we plan to present the virtual sandbox during the Long night of Research, or TU Graz open house event. The primary goal is to make this target group aware of the cost and benefits of simulation tools, or why the development of simulation programs takes such a long time. Finally, the broader audience will be made aware of simulation-based technologies by confronting them with a number of industrial projects