From 1 August young New Zealanders will have a safe virtual city, SciCity, in which they can explore, create and discover thanks to Otago Museum’s Discovery World, IBM New Zealand, and ZeDDD Technology.
A converging of ‘science’ and ‘city’, SciCity is an interactive website which allows visitors to explore 3D environments as a customisable avatar, explore educative environments, produce movies of their adventures and broadcast these discoveries for others to watch.
SciCity explores topics vital to Information and Communications Technology with a game system that will engage young New Zealanders and allow exploration within ‘slice of life’ contexts while creating insight, understanding, and confidence with ICT.
The SciCity project will be run nationwide through schools and is based on the ideas of community building and personal-broadcasting elements popular in websites such as ‘YouTube’ and ‘MySpace’, while providing a safe New Zealand focused, educative, online environment.
Debbie Noon, IBM New Zealand’s Community Relations Manager, says technology skills are vital in an increasingly global world. “IBM has been a supporter of Otago Museum since 2004 and we have been impressed by the innovation they use to engage young New Zealanders in what are often perceived as ‘boring’ areas. The launch of SciCards in 2005 was the first step in generating excitement about science and technology and now SciCity takes it to a whole new level. The more young New Zealanders who develop an interest in science and technology, the greater our chances of encouraging them to explore the IT sector.”