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EPSRC CDT in Next Generation Computational Modelling

Science and Engineering Day 2016: Flight Simulator and Minecraft

Visitors queing up for the flight simulatior experience inside the van

The University of Southampton's Science and Engineering Day 2016 attracted several thousand visitors and take part in the activities available. Amongst a wide variety of displays and hands-on experiments at Highfield Campus, there were also a number of exhibits at the new Boldrewood Innovation Campus.

This included a flight simulator, which was presented by PhD students undertaking the doctoral training programme offered by Southamptons Centre for Doctoral training in Next Generation Computational Modelling; see picture above.

The training centre is researching and teaching the simulation of products, processes, materials, and devices, and expects to have about 75 doctoral students graduating in the coming years.

The Computer Science department had a learning activity (see picture below) at the same site for which data from Open Street Map and altitude data from the UK's Lidar scanning project was combined to create an approximative Minecraft world of Southampton, which visitors could be explore by using one of the many laptops. There was also a Minecraft world of London, and suggested exercises for playing with logic elements in Minecraft. The organisers cunningly had a stop watch attached to every computer, which would beep after 10 minutes to encourage visitors to move on, and allow the next guest to use the laptop.

For parents and other interested parties, members of staff explain why "Minecraft is awesome" for education.

Game in action