School of Fun for Children in Fukushima

by Academy Camp
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School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
School of Fun for Children in Fukushima
Try hand-tracking this!
Try hand-tracking this!

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We held an invitation-only VR (Virtual Reality) camp on the Japanese national holiday of November 3 and the following weekend. This time, we all thought again about what surprising things will happen when we find and use the eggs that everyone has hidden in the Unprecedented World that is still in the process of being created.

Also, just during this camp, the VR-world service was updated to track hand movements and perform various actions without holding controllers, so we all tried that out right away. At first, we could not move from the spot at all, and children took the initiative to learn how to move using hand gestures. We had a great time and was able to once again experience the same feeling we had the first time we experienced VR.

Besides, we played together as various cute avatars and came up with a game of tag where the person who finds the hidden egg becomes the one who chases every others.

PLEASE HELP US BEGINNING PHYSICAL CAMPS AGAIN

We are gradually resuming our physical camps starting this coming January.

GlobalGiving holds this year's Giving Tuesday campaign at November 29, 2022, on which matching funds will be distributed proportionally to your donations. Please take this great opportunity to further help children in Fukushima, in Japan, and Academy Camp.

The Orange Siblings
The Orange Siblings
Little guys carrying sushi
Little guys carrying sushi

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Wonderful experience at Tokyo Big Sight
Wonderful experience at Tokyo Big Sight

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

On September 3 and 4, Academy Camp exhibited at Maker Faire Tokyo 2022 held in the Tokyo Bay Area. It was the first time in three years that we exhibited in person at the event. A total of 12 Academy Camp children, parents and staff members participated as "makers" (exhibitors). Unfortunately, there was no in-person participation from Fukushima, but there were those who participated online. There were also friends who visited the event.

This year, following last year's online exhibit, "Academy Camp VR" was displayed. We demonstrated four virtual reality worlds that we have created with children: "Lunar Society," "Exploration of Life on Europa, a Satellite of Jupiter," "Cells and Immunity World," and "Unprecedented World." The last world is still in the process of creation, but we incorporated some new features to realize the children's ideas to demonstrate at this exhibition.

Many children who visited the event were riveted by our Minecraft and VR constructions and adventures. Our young makers were very inspired as they looked around at the work of other makers. The parents told us that they could sense the fun and tremendous energy of the people making what they want to make.

The reason why Academy Camp values this annual event is because we want the participating children to become makers, not visitors to society. That is why we think this event is one of the best opportunities where children can communicate with visitors, wearing the exhibitor tag that says "maker". So, what kind of makers will they be next year?

 

PLEASE HELP US LITTLE BY LITTLE

GlobalGiving holds the September 2022 Little by Little Campaign from September 12 to 16 (EDT). All eligible donations up to $50 per unique donor per organization will be matched at 50% during the campaign! Please take this great opportunity to help further the children in Fukushima, those in the rest of Japan, and Academy Camp.

Our makers in action
Our makers in action
Online member came to check out our latest feature
Online member came to check out our latest feature
Traveled with our visitors to Jupiter
Traveled with our visitors to Jupiter
Gathering in the extraterrestrial ocean
Gathering in the extraterrestrial ocean
At the end of day 1, ready for the next day?
At the end of day 1, ready for the next day?

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The Unprecedented World continues to improve
The Unprecedented World continues to improve

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We took advantage of the August holiday period in Japan to once again hold a VR (virtual reality) camp. Following the success of the pilot version at the July camp, this time we tried in earnest to design treasure eggs together, hide them together, and search for them together in this camp we called "Search for Unprecedented Eggs!" Sixteen children from all over Japan participated, ranging from the second graders to a technical college student who helped us as a subleader.

After touring the Unprecedented World they have created so far, the children immediately set about designing their own eggs. They design not only what the eggs look like, but what would happen when they find and "Use" them. The pace of writing on the online whiteboard was slow at first, but once the children actually started creating the appearance of the eggs in 3D, they seemed to come up with more and more wacky ideas, such as a black egg that would generate a mini black hole that only attracts sushi when used. This was a three-day camp, so we did not get to put that kind of behavior on the eggs, but in any case, we have always taken six months or so to get our VR world to the point of completion. So the production will continue.

The adults expected 2-3 eggs to be created and hidden, but in the end, the children designed and hid a total of 23 eggs in the world, and the number may increase a little more in the future.

Since the hiding places of the eggs were decided by the three teams, on the last day, the teams played a game of egg-hunting against each other. The detailed rules for the game were also proposed by everyone while playing. It was not a camp where we made a plan and followed it to the letter, but we believe that the children were able to fully demonstrate their creativity through this camp because we did not have to decide on anything too much.

Again, shiritori game with objects in their rooms
Again, shiritori game with objects in their rooms
What eggs did they create, how do the eggs react?
What eggs did they create, how do the eggs react?
The work site was full of eggs
The work site was full of eggs
Found an egg on which trees grow!
Found an egg on which trees grow!
Checking out for now, but the production continues
Checking out for now, but the production continues

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Hide and seek a treasure egg in this vast world!
Hide and seek a treasure egg in this vast world!

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

During the July 3-day holidays in Japan, we held an invitation-only virtual reality camp. Twelve children from all over Japan participated in this camp, where they once again toured the "Unprecedented World," which they have been creating since March. The world consists of six levels, starting from the bottom: the spirit floor, the residential floor, the water floor, the creature floor, the challenge floor, and the space floor. Each floor is filled with architecture and other objects created by children.

In the camp, this time, we tried out a pilot version of a game design using the world. We have prepared only one treasure egg. Everyone has to hide it somewhere in the vast world and search for it. At first, we tried to play it in such a way that whoever got the egg the fastest hid it somewhere, everyone else looked for it, and whoever found it hid it again somewhere else. It was fun enough.

Then we came up with a way to play against teams. The children were divided into two teams, each entering a different instance of the Unprecedented World, where they hid the only one egg, and when they finished hiding it, they entered the other team's instance to search for the egg that the other team had hidden. The children were so excited just to decide where to hide their egg. Both teams hid the eggs in places where they would never have been able to find them in the usual way, and by gradually getting hints from each other, they were finally able to find the opponent's egg.

This was a trial version of our August activity, and I think everyone got a good feeling about the game, which they do not just play, but also take part in its design.

On a scale of 0 to 10, how energetic are you now?
On a scale of 0 to 10, how energetic are you now?
Trying to catch a sushi in a space station
Trying to catch a sushi in a space station
Two teams compete to hide and seek the egg!
Two teams compete to hide and seek the egg!
Trying to hide the treasure egg under the water.
Trying to hide the treasure egg under the water.

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A space station and a colony designed by children
A space station and a colony designed by children

Please find a Japanese version of this report here.

We held a 3-day pre-training and 3-day production virtual reality (VR) camp during the May holidays in Japan, to continue to build the unprecedented worlds that we started at the March camp. Twenty-one children from Fukushima and other areas participated in the program, ranging from 2nd grade elementary school students to 2nd grade high school students.

While adults demonstrated how to place objects from the voxel world into the VR world through adjustment of the 3D models, we asked the children to concentrate on their creation in the voxel world for the time being, and to create freely as if an automatic manufacturing machine were copying their creations into the world. Divided into three realms, children created a series of realistic or mysterious things that make up the worlds, as they wished. They then instructed the "automatic manufacturing machine" how they wanted the created objects to be placed and moved in the VR world.

The worlds created by the children's creativity were arranged in a single VR world with six floors: a spiritual world, gems, crystals and slime; a residential area, a treehouse and a library; a submerged city, a castle on the water, an underwater world and other water-related places; giant creatures; a future world and athletics, and the space.

The creation continues even after the camp period: there are three water worlds where you can dive and swim, and fish that pop out of those worlds fall into residential neighborhoods, just as the designers of the residential area wanted to do from the beginning. The children are now chatting about what they want to do with the fish that have fallen. We intend to further develop these worlds based on children's ideas. Let’s continue to break precedents to create new worlds!

Word chain game with things you have at home
Word chain game with things you have at home
Water runs down the exterior stairs of a building
Water runs down the exterior stairs of a building
Trolleys will run around each floor of the tower
Trolleys will run around each floor of the tower
Place this volcano on the ocean floor
Place this volcano on the ocean floor
Let's continue to create unprecedented worlds!
Let's continue to create unprecedented worlds!

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Organization Information

Academy Camp

Location: Fujisawa, Kanagawa - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @academy_camp
Project Leader:
Kenji Saito
Fujisawa, Kanagawa Japan
$178,140 raised of $200,000 goal
 
1,423 donations
$21,860 to go
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