DISTANCE: a new project that I'm involved with...

Over at Explorer HQ, which is the new company that we've created from Mission:Explore, we're working on some exciting projects.

We've kicked off our SUMMER CAMP, which will take place in the 100 days from June 1st...
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Over the next year, one of the biggest projects that we are involved in, is as part of a group of organisations, on a major science project called DISTANCE.

We're finally able to announce the details of the project.

“DISTANCE” Demonstrating the Internet of School Things – A National Collaborative Experience

The £800,000 one-year project is funded as a part of the Technology Strategy Board “Internet of Things Ecosystem Demonstrator” Competition”

ScienceScope Ltd is leading a consortium of industry and academic experts in an £800,000 collaborative development project called “DISTANCE”, which aims to demonstrate and evaluate how new technologies can help both teacher and students in schools to take a more active role in creating and sharing digital content.

The project will initially work with more than 8 schools across the country to define how an internet of school things can enhance learning in science and across a range of other subjects such as technology and geography. Students and teachers will participate in design activities aimed at transforming the way in which data is collected, shared and analysed across school campuses. The DISTANCE consortium is made up of ScienceScope, Intel, xively (formerly Cosm), Explorer HQ, Stakeholder Design, University of Birmingham’s Urban Climate Laboratory, UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and The Open University Department of Computing.

Project DISTANCE offers the ability to measure and share data in a way that helps to make learning fun, links directly to the curriculum, helps to inform the design of the next generation of schools, incentivises UK businesses to enter a market worth £500 million a year and better prepares children to work within the digital economy. We will do this by creating an information hub in the cloud using an open-source and infinitely scalable API platform (xively). This will enable us to identify the mix of incentives required to encourage educators, students and business to share certain types of data openly for the first time.

Schools piloting our ecosystem will focus on four themes – transport, energy, weather and health. The key innovation is provision of a platform and service layer to connect schools with third-party service and application providers, who can then supply internet-enabled measurement equipment and interpretation software.

The consortium plans to work with the schools on participatory design at the end of the summer term. Over the summer we will be developing a range of exciting apps and visualisations of data that can be collected by schools together with comprehensive curriculum based activities for the schools to trial in the autumn term. 

Following these trials the consortium will develop comprehensive resources based on an internet of things that can be used at scale across the country as the project moves forward into its second year.

It's going to be a busy summer....