If you're a Year 3 or Year 4 student about to go on an excursion to learn about one of Australia's most iconic and storied buildings, you're in for a treat. Samsung has bequeathed 100 Galaxy Tab S tablets, and a carefully designed educational app called Quest to Stop the Mischief-Making Opera Ghost, to teach kids more about the Sydney Opera House.
Samsung does a huge amount of philanthropic work for kids both in Australia and around the world. The multinational giant works with Questacon, for example, to use its tablets and other devices for classes and workshops held for students at the National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra.
The Opera House's educational tour guides will be working with the kids, who'll come as part of the regular class excursions with their teachers, and showing them how to use the app — opening it, adding a name, then moving around the interior of the House and answering a multitude of multiple-choice questions on a variety of topics. The app is educational, teaching students about the Opera House, but will also foster creativity and problem-solving skills at the same time.
Those topics within the app are unlocked by reaching different locations, like the Opera House's Concert Hall or Playhouse, where Bluetooth beacons hidden away about the Jørn Utzon-designed building activate new features. The beacons essentially unlock different characters for students to unlock; the overall theme is thwarting the Opera House's mischievous ghost. (The Opera House actually has a fair few ghost stories of its own, mostly centred around the Dame Joan Sutherland Theatre.)
The app actually achieves a whole bunch of STEM learning objectives for the Year 3 and 4 students that'll be using it; collaboration is one of those, and Quest to Stop the Mischief-Making Opera Ghost is all about working together to read, ask questions and choosing an answer. Better still, it's actually a good bit of fun for adults, too. [Sydney Opera House]