The SEED Foundation:
Connecting Youth in Developing Countries to the Internet and to Science
The SEED Foundation (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development) connects disadvantaged school children in developing countries to the Internet, shares the real world of science through a multilingual online Science Center, and facilitates collaborative projects among school children around the world. The MaMaMedia team has been collaborating with SEED Foundation since 2002, by developing a series of online science simulations, activities and visualizations for enriching and enlivening the content on the SEED website.
The goal was to enrich the SEED global website, which was originally made of many static textual articles. We wanted to help students to better connect to the texts and ideas in the articles. The strategy was to create a large variety of miniature learning applets, animated imagery, and interactive activities where young people can visualize and control their learning, explore, innovate and express themselves scientifically. We want to challenge children around the globe to become active science learners and serve to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries. From a global standpoint, one of the challenges of this project has been to design online applications that are well suited-technically, conceptually, and visually-to an international audience and in several languages.
The team developed so far a set of 20 colorful, playful, and educational, interactive activities and simulations teaching concepts and principles of physics. These activities are translated by SEED into 7 languages. The activities are accessed by children around the world on the online SEED Science Center, which facilitates collaborative, international multilingual projects among school children. The team met the global challenge of this project through sophisticated visualization and text-less online applet design. In this design, each applet can be run and be understood by children all over the world-there are almost no words are contained in the software. Instructions are available to users in seven different languages, and accessible from each applet. Examples of these activities include:
The learner models the physics of an arrow in flight; science topics include projectile trajectories, forces, angles and velocities.
Learners simulate audio digital signal processing in a sophisticated, online environment; topics include the Doppler effect, experimental perspective, audio pitch and sound waves.
Learner initiate motion of a satellite in geo-synchronous earth orbit; topics include geo-synchronous earth orbit and relative orbit periods.
Tectonic Plate Movements
Learners animate three main types of tectonic plate movements and their effects on the geology at plate boundaries; topics include tectonic plates; and divergent, convergent and transform plate movements.
Children from around the globe access and learn from these projects on the SEED Science Center. The most popular languages are 1) Spanish, 2) English and 3) Arabic.