Welcome to The Atlanta Science Tavern

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Science and Virtual Reality: The Present and Future of Education through Immersive 3D Worlds

The Atlanta Science Tavern held our first public discussion on Saturday, June 28th at Thinking Man Tavern in Decatur, GA. The topic was "Science and Virtual Reality: The Present and Future of Education through Immersive 3D Worlds".

At issue was the subject of how we can use 3D virtual worlds and video-game technology to help science education. A motivating factor is the decreasing supply of talented and qualified scientists and engineers in the US to fulfill basic needs in industry. Other motivating factors include the loss of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and curiosity among students and workers.

We had a very lively discussion and have recorded most of it to podcast here.

Discussion Points
View the discussion points and some screenshots of science-related places in Second Life in this PDF: Science and Virtual Reality: The Present and Future of Education through Immerseive 3D Worlds


Discussion Podcast

Listen to the first part of the discussion here:
Podcast of group discussion part I
Podcast of group discussion part II

Videos Presented During the Discussion

Related Resources
Bill Gates congressional testimony: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/mar08/03-12MSUSInnovationLeadPR.mspx

The Second Life Science Center: http://science-center-group.wikispaces.com/
List of Science Related destinations in SecondLife: http://science-center-group.wikispaces.com/Science-Related+Places

Upcoming Discussions and Speakers

Upcoming Speakers

Our next speaker will be:

Dr. John Wegner

Dr. Wegner is Emory University’s Chief Environmental Officer. He is also a senior lecturer, teaching courses in Ecosystem Ecology, the Ecology of Emory and Ecosystems of the southeastern United Sates.

He joined Emory after 23 years at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. In the fall of 2001 he became the University’s environmental consultant, and maintains an office in both Emory’s Environmental Science Department and in Facilities Management.

He will speak to us about Emory’s sustainability (meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) vision and how Emory has used the Green building design based on the US Green Building Council’s LEED ™ rating system to guide its campus management and development. That is how Emory has strived to be part of a healthy ecosystem, seeking to reduce the university’s harmful impacts on the environment and contribute to the regeneration of its surrounding ecosystem.

Learn more about Dr. Wegner at http://www.envs.emory.edu/faculty/wegner.htm

Speakers in the Works

Dr. Uriel Kitron

Dr. Kitron has degrees for Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University of Michigan and the University of California. His research and teaching centers around the eco-epidemiology of infections diseases, with emphasis on tropical emerging diseases and environmental risk factors. . His current research funded by NIH, NSF and the CDC include large scale collaborative studies of malaria in Kenya, Chagas disease in Argentina and dengue in Peru and of West Nile virus and Lyme disease in the US.

Dr. Kitron will speak to us about his current research.

Learn more about Dr. Kitron at http://www.envs.emory.edu/faculty/kitron.html

Dr. Anthony Martin

Dr. Martin is a paleontologist at Emory University. He earned his PhD from the University of Georgia and has taught at Emory since 1990. He has taught approximately 15 different courses in the areas of geology, evolutionary biology and ecology. His main research interest is the study of plant and animal traces, such as tracks, trails, burrows, nests and feces and how these traces help us understand the behavior of organisms that once lived.

Introduction to the Study of Dinosaurs

By Anthony J. Martin
Published 2006

Blackwell Publishing

560 pages

This highly accessible introduction to dinosaurs places scientific method at the crux of the studies, teaching students about scientific research and principles as they learn about dinosaurs. Now in its second edition, the text includes updates on recent finds, increased coverage of evolution and physiology, and an expanded and improved illustration program.

Learn more about Dr. Martin at http://www.envs.emory.edu/faculty/martin.htm