It is definitely very difficult to write up or even have time to reflect on the many places we are being taken to during this exchange programme. Since leaving the Artlab+ space on Tuesday morning we have been to McKinley High School, Washington and then to a non profit organisation called Change the Equation that ‘is mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning in the United States’.
Early on Wednesday morning we flew to Seattle (via Denver) and even with a three hour time difference had just enough time to get to the EMP Museum (wow!) and the Space Needle (double wow!) before they closed. On Thursday morning we had a series of very interesting discussions in University of Washington where we met colleagues working on the Minority Scholars Engineering Program and later in the Center for Game Science.
Following that we had a further roundtable discussion with the educational team in the Pacific Science Center and a super-quick tour of the facility. Then, yesterday evening, we were given an insight into the work of Entertainment Game Developers Bungie (creators of Halo) who also generously hosted a very fine meal for us in a really cool restaurant located in their building.
This morning we were taken to the Microsoft Briefing Center and treated to a gorgeous breakfast and a series of brilliant presentations about different aspects of Microsoft’s work in what keeps being called “the educational space”.
Finally, for this week, this afternoon we met creators of such games as Portal, Half-Life, Left for Dead and Dote among others namely VALVe Software.
Alas I may not be able to write in depth on each of these visits but I will cover some of my impressions of some of the sessions for sure.
The first will be the visit to McKinley High School in the next post as the students there made a profound impression on me. Like all of the hosts to all of our meeting the colleagues in McKinley gave generously of their time and hospitality. It was a privilege to be taken around the school to see lessons and chat with students and teachers.
All of this has been seamlessly managed by Cultural Vistas and it has been an absolutely fabulous and fascinating week!