Please find a Japanese version of this report here.
We would like to take a look back at Academy Camp 2021 Summer VR Term 2 - "PREFAB THE WORLDS". The event was held over three days from August 7 to 9, 2021. 14 children from Fukushima and the rest of Japan joined this virtual reality (VR) camp from home.
In the July camp, we created a lunar base of 2030s in the vast space of a lava tube. The August camps start on the Moon ten years later. The cavern was covered with a transparent lid, and the air-filled space was filled with more greenery and lights. The new VR world, "Academy Camp VR Venue," was created as a playground for everyone. This is also where the spaceships are assembled for testing. The spaceships are built so that we can all go to Europa, a moon of Jupiter, and land there to explore for extraterrestrial life.
There were many opinions on what kind of spaceship we should build for everyone to board, and we almost decided by majority vote. However, we decided against it. This is a story in VR, but if it were real, it would be a spaceship that everyone would risk their own lives to board and go on an adventure. Can we decide on something while our lives are at stake, and the consequences of our choices will ultimately be in accordance with the laws of physics, just because more people think this is the way to go? With this question posed, everyone began to prototype their own spaceships in the work space provided in Minecraft.
On the second day, we all went into the various spaceships that were temporarily placed on the Venue dock to see if we could build them as we had expected. As a result, it was decided that it would be better to consider the specifications of what a spacecraft going to Jupiter must satisfy, make a checklist, and proceed with the design while confirming that the specifications are met. So, everyone thought about what was important and made a checklist.
We also learned about Europa by watching videos and infographics of NASA's Europa Clipper project. Europa is a satellite that is slightly smaller than the Earth's moon, but deep within the ice shell on its surface is a global ocean that contains more than twice the amount of water as the Earth's entire ocean. On Earth, where there is water, there is life. If that is the case, then... does life exist on Europa? Everyone is going to explore it!
On the third day, we used Minecraft to design the creatures that live in Europa's oceans. The design of the spacecraft and the lander that would separate from it continued. In the end, we ended up with two large spaceships, but in the process, many "unused designs" were created. They are all great!
The design of the spaceships will be handed over to the term 3 camp, but after this camp was over, the staff had a review meeting at the Venue, where the children also joined in the fun.
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