Objective: Students will create an interactive virtual simulation of something from the real-world.
Tools/Materials Required: Computer with internet access
Depth of Knowledge: Strategic Thinking
Teacher’s notes are in purple. For the student’s version, see Interactive Imagination Student Guide.
Prepare: Learn about the key ideas in this project
Computers make it possible to see and experience things that are not possible in the real world: games can transport us into outer space, movies can make animals talk, immersive media can make us feel as if we are somewhere else. The way that computers can simulate the real world is a uniquely powerful thing that computers can do — especially because the simulations don’t need to directly recreate the real world.
In this project you will create a simulation of something from the real world, but with a twist: the user will be able to affect the way the simulation itself works! For example:
- You may create a simulation of a basketball game — but the user will be able to change how the ball bounces or how slowly it falls to the ground.
- You may create a simulation of a bird flying — but the user will be able to change how the bird floats or soars through the air.
- You may create a simulation of a musical instrument — but the user will be able to change the sounds that the instrument makes.
In each case, the simulation presents something familiar, but because it is virtual, it can be changed to be a little unfamiliar too.
Learn more about simulation projects on the Scratch Wiki. Although this project emphasizes Scratch as the tool for creating these simulations, other programming languages, simulators, and virtual worlds can be appropriate ways for students to create their projects.
Practice: Try as many activities as you would like to build your skills
Practice creating animations and games with Scratch with the Video Game Remix project.
Practice recreating something from the real world with the project Make it Digital!
Produce: Dig into the project and make it your own!
Create a simulation of something familiar
Choose something from the real-world, and use a computer to recreate a virtual simulation of it. Your simulation can be as simple or as complex as you would like.
Make the simulation interactive — and a little unfamiliar
The next challenge in this project is to allow the user to affect the way the simulation itself works. This project is called “Interactive Imagination” for a reason — get creative, and design your real-world simulation so that it behaves in a way that it might not in the real world!
Share with friends
Share your simulation with friends. Encourage them to interact with the simulation and expand their imaginations!
Produced by Digital Promise Global, with thanks to the Open Educational Resources listed throughout this guide. Distributed to Learning Studios schools as part of HP, Inc. and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share this project or modified versions of it under this same license.