Sponsored by VentureWell and UCLA
Team Diamond: Sherlan Abesamis, Joseph Park, James Gildea, Alan Lee
Inspire the Next Generation of Nanodiamond Scientists
Nanodiamond technology is growing rapidly; it is used in many applications such as replacing chemotherapy. The technology uses nano scale diamonds to carry cancer fighting medicine to a specific location without affecting other organs or parts of the body.
Our team took on the challenge and created Nanoteer, a physical and digital hybrid educational toy for ten-year-old children. Our mission is to raise cancer awareness and inspire the next generation to become Nanodiamond scientists.
Understand the patient
The player starts a new chapter by viewing the patient's symptoms. The patient information page also shows the location and severity of tumors throughout the body.
Scout Recon Mode
The player pilots the nanoship traveling inside the patient's body to gather clues on what medicines to use to fight cancer by scanning T-Cells. The player also captures cancer cell samples to take back to the lab.
* T-Cells retain the memory of previous infections in the body. We are using it as a way for the player to learn how to fight cancer cells.
After gathering information inside the patient's body, the player chooses a cancer sample for testing medicine combinations on different nanodiamonds.
Lab testing is one of the critical ways nanoscientists find new drug combinations to kill cancer cells. We want the player to understand what a scientist does on a daily basis.
After finding out the right combination and ratio, the player uses the pipette and spoon controller to mix the solution they will use for the cancer battle they will have later in the patient's body.
By incorporating real pipette and spoon mechanics, our game simulates the experience of using real lab tools for the player.
Once the player finishes building medicine, they enter the vortex mix mode where the player navigates the nanoship to collect as many drugs as they can before entering the patient's body.
*Scientist use vortex mixer to mix nanodiamond and medicine solution.
When the player enters the patient's body, the player has to find and defeat the cancer cell using the medicine they made in the lab within the time limit. The efficiency of the drug depends on the combination and ratio.
Once the player launches the medicine into the cancer cell, the game switches to the nanodiamond’s perspective where the player needs to navigate the nanodiamond to the cancer cell and reach the nucleus.
Inspire the next generation
Our goal is not only to make nanodiamond science fun and easy to understand for young children, but also to appeal to parents and teachers who wish to inspire their kids through STEAM education.
Start With a Curiosity
"Why isn't Nanotechnology as popular as Space science?"
We immediately asked ourselves this question when we first started the project. Both nanotechnology and space science involve exploring the unknown, but why are so many science fiction stories, such as Star Wars and Star Trek, based on space and not nanotechnology? No exciting movie, comic or TV show other than Osmosis Jones is based on biology or nanotechnology. Because of this, our goal was to create a science game that is as exciting as science fiction.
but not this?
Low Tech Learning
While computers and technologies are slowly entering our school's education system, there are still schools that are encouraging students to learn without technology.
According to innovators at Re.Work's The Future of Education workshop, to reach the next generation of makers, brands should develop digital-physical products that promote self-led play.
People start to realize that the old “sit still and do your work” model is not effective with today’s students. Instead, tactile and movement based methods are the best way for learning.
- A set of iPad games that combine digital and physical play.
- 10 different games.
- Play digital games through real-world pieces.
- 5-12 years old
- A set of modular toy robots teach young children about coding.
- 5 basic models, customizable whatever you want.
- Basic coding in the app activate the robot.
- 7-12 years old
- LeapFrog is the leader in children's educational entertainment.
- Tablet, toys, games, cartoon
- General education for kid.
- 2-4 years old
Toys, especially ones for young children, are the few product categories in which the user and buyer are not the same people. Both audiences' needs and wants are very different as well. According to research, while children are looking for toys that are fun and popular amongst friends, parents are looking for toys that have education elements. Our challenge is to design a toy/game that is fun but still teaches young children nanodiamond during the playing process.
Our team had settled on a user persona we called “Jake”, a 10 year old student with an interest in science. In order to figure out an approach to this project, we started mapping out a day in his life, with a focus on education.
This journey map tracks Jake’s mood throughout the day, represented by the white line, and his learning and engagement with science, represented by the circles expanding and contracting throughout the day.
In addition to Jake, we also considered his teacher and mother’s pain points throughout the day in regards to his education.
UCLA Lab Visit
Based on trend research, concept exploration, and meeting with UCLA bio-engineer team, our team decided to focus on designing a physical and digital hybrid iPad game. Our goal is to combine a fun and interactive shooting game with real lab simulation into one educational game.
User testing & takeaways
- Explain each step clearly so the player can follow alone. (explain through words, video, UI, packaging...)
- Be aware of switching motions (using the controller and tapping on the screen)
- Do we need a controller?
The idea of the modular toy set enables the lab set to be more advanced in the game. However, the downside of this design is that it is hard to be portable. Also, because it is modular, young children can easily lose a component that causes them to be unable to play the game.
The foldable pad idea allows players to play anywhere they want. The size is small enough for young children to carry around easily. However, the iPad support structure is similar to iPad cover. Therefore, we moved on to the next concept.