Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.


Virtual Classroom 'Race across Time'

Jason Gee , Powerhouse Museum, Australia

Session: Demonstrations 2

Developed by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney for the AT&T Virtual Classroom program, the VC Race Across Time website offers students aged 8 to 14 years a fun way to learn about technology, geography, artifacts, and history.

In the game, students are pilots of a time-cruiser that keeps crashing. To complete their mission, they must figure out where and when in Australia they have crashed, by examining objects and solving puzzles. The clues are largely drawn from objects in the Powerhouse Museum's extensive collection, supplemented by other Australian museums, historical societies and photo libraries. The highly interactive game is designed for Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer browser versions 4.0 and above.

While VC Race Across Time features Australian history and geography, its appeal is global because the game offers fact sheets and extension activities that help teachers relate the topics to their home and culture and country.

In my demonstration I would like to cover how the project came to be funded, workshopped and developed, as well as the procedures and coordination needed in developing such a large scale museum web game. As this was a first time project of this nature for our museum, I am sure our experience of developing a co-production of this nature would be of interest to a number of museum workers.