Mon 18th Nov 2002 | News
Alberta, Calgary—November 18, 2002-- Idea Machine and Science Alberta Foundation are proud to announce the launch of Wonderville. Found at www.wonderville.ca, Wonderville is an immersive, interactive 3D town filled with animated characters, designed to teach kids about science; to encourage them to pursue careers in science; and to foster in them a life-long love of science.
Science Alberta Foundation approached Idea Machine with the challenge of creating a compelling online destination to compete with television and video games for kids’ attention outside of school and to provide teachers with a means to reach kids on a different level. The creative team at Idea Machine, created the concept of a 3D world where an animated cast of characters would lead the audience through a series of engaging interactive online science-based activities. The client loved the idea and one year later Wonderville is alive and well.
The development of Wonderville has been strategic, says Dr. Arlene Ponting, CEO of Science Alberta who has played a leading role in web-based learning in Alberta, Canada. “Good digital content and innovative web-based applications are transforming teaching and learning,” she says.
Tom Short, President of Idea Machine, is also excited about the site, both from a design perspective and as a science enthusiast. “Wonderville is intriguing. To show how a peregrine falcon flies, to show how a water treatment plant works - these are communications challenges that haven’t really been tackled before.”
“Kids are used to a certain quality - they watch television, go to films and play video games. The experience that they are getting on Wonderville is like nothing else online. What we are doing here is elevating online education and exceeding their expectations. Their eyes immediately open up - they recognize that this is something for them, but something that is way cooler than what they expected,” says Brent Lowrie, Disney-trained animator working with Idea Machine.
Idea Machine employed 3ds max, Maya, the Macromedia MX Suite and Adobe Photoshop, as well as a team of local and international freelance artists and animators to bring the world of Wonderville to life. The Wonderville creative team is led by animator Brent Lowrie (art and animation) and designer Darren Pearce (interface design and programming).