Kids learn 'augmented' 3D printing

Jul 12, 2017 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Arapahoe school students are delving into the world of augmented reality and 3D printing this summer as part of the district's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program.

The students will create a video storytelling project that will be shared with others in Jackson and throughout Fremont County.

First, STEM students in grades 6-12 will design and create a 3D printed medallion, Jackson Hole WILD community partnerships and events director Cindy Harger explained.

The medallion will include traditional Arapaho symbolism and become the "trigger" that will set off the augmented reality video experience on media devices, Harger said.

Users open the appropriate app and face the camera towards the medallion; the app will recognize the medallion and instantly play AR videos of Arapaho elders telling stories related to solar eclipses.

A total solar eclipse will cross the region Aug. 21.

Students created the videos last week with guidance from professional filmmakers associated with Jackson Hole WILD.

"This project offers an opportunity for Arapaho youths to sit down with five tribal elders to learn about oral storytelling," Harger said.

The project also meets "an important need to preserve Arapaho language and heritage for generations to come," she added, explaining that the videos are intended to demonstrate the traditional Arapaho storytelling style in both English and Arapaho.

When English is spoken, subtitles in Arapaho will appear. When the elders speak Arapaho, the subtitles will be in English.

"It's a neat way of doing traditional storytelling in a modern way," Harger said. "Students will capture storytelling traditions on video."

The AR storytelling videos are the first of several collaborations between the Arapahoe school students and Jackson Hole WILD, Harger said. The work, which will be presented extensively within both communities, represents a strategy for exposing other students to Arapaho culture, 21st Century Learning coordinator Teresa HisChase said.

"This is an extremely important project as it is allowing our children to learn about other cultures while the students in Jackson learn about ours," she said. "Our children will learn about other cultures, and this will help them understand the world outside of the reservation, because many times their knowledge and exposure is limited."

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