Caspar Thykier, Co-founder & CEO, Zappar
It has become a ceaseless dialogue of the modern age among parents, educators and government – how do we ensure a supply of future generations of STEM leaders? How do we continue to invent, create and find solutions for the modern day?
The answer it seems is relatively simple, as with all learning and skill-honing; the earlier you start the better. The more engaging you make the subject matter the more likely it will be to stick. But is there anything out there that’s successfully making STEM learning stick in the very early years? For our next generation at least, there’s a clear divide between reading materials currently available. Our spectrum ranges from the enchanted and whimsical storybook to the classroom text book, with nothing in-between, until now…
US based, StoneOak Media is bridging that gap, creating pioneering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths focused educational products. Crucially, StoneOak’s latest book is ground breaking in approach not content. The information (in the case of ‘Solar System Expedition’, space and planets) is nothing new, but the way in which it engages its audience is, and that’s down to its close collaboration with Zappar.
Solar System Expedition is the first story-based STEM focused, enhanced augmented reality activity book. A new type of educational product for the classroom, developing an experience that moves beyond the basic teaching of STEM related facts. This book isn’t just Zappar powered, it’s powered by imagination to engage and challenge students to better visualise key topics.
Rather than keeping learning and the latest technology in siloes, Zappar allows the digital aptitude that kids today have to be harnessed, and used to keep them engaged in curricular teaching. It moves the emphasis of tablets being a ‘nice-to-have’ for schools to a genuinely useful device facilitating interactivity with the subject matter, and engaging children in a digital format they naturally gravitate towards.
Solar System Expedition made its debut at the Texas Science Teacher Association’s CAST conference in Ft. Worth, TX this week. Without exception delegates have been blown away by the early book demonstrations and there’s chatter in the air that this is truly a bold step for education opening up new frontiers for learning.