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Friday, March 10, 2017

Inquisitive kids really "dig" digiPlaySpace



   One-Tank Trip for March 4/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Using language that perhaps only kids will understand, young minds can learn to code, control robots, paint with light, travel through space and visit Canada’s National Parks through high-tech experiences.
   This world where users control a robotic arm that mimics human movement, interact with the solar system and space across a circle of 28 iPads, and paint with light while the environment around them begins to glow is known as digiPlaySpace.
Visitors to digiPlaySpace can learn all about robots, programming and basic electronics to create their own inventions. (Photo by Little Robot Friends)
   This is the sixth international exhibition of its kind that runs now through April 23 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.
   Don’t be shy: It’s where interactive art, design and activities from acclaimed Canadian and international artists “highlight the power of creative technology for kids and those young at heart.”
   TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world, through film, and its projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival, Lightbox featuring five cinemas, major exhibitions and learning and entertainment facilities.

   Elizabeth Muskala, director of youth learning and TIFF Kids, calls it “an action-packed technology playground that keeps our bodies and minds active.”
DOBOTONE is a five-player video game console specially designed for parties. (Photo by Videogamo)
   Moving from one installation to the next, visitors can play with and learn from a diverse array of new media experiences staged in a fun and entertaining environment, she said.
   It’s intended to “inspire and teach kids and adults about future technologies and unlock their creative potential,” said Matt Nish-Lapidus, co-curator of digiPlaySpace.
   “Coding teaches logic and problem-solving skills and helps to succeed in an increasingly digital world,” he added.
   At digiPlaySpace, visitors get hands-on experience with robots, programming and basic electronics so they can start creating amazing inventions.
M/O is an interactive sculpture of 28 iPads that allows viewers to touch and move comets, solar systems, planets and moons in a mini universe. (Photo by Logic & Form)
   The digiPlaySpace lineup includes 23 exhibits from eight countries.
   This includes Design I/O’s world premiere of Mimic, a robotic arm from Universal Robots that mimics the movement of those who interact with it to create an ever-changing dialogue between human and machine.
   Another world premiere is Toronto-based artist and illustrator John Martz’s Animation Space Station.
   It captures images “through the magic of stop-motion,” allowing visitors to float in space, run from aliens and more.
   Virtual Growth is where light grows to trace the environment, illuminating hidden edges and organically interacting with people and objects.
   Hockey gets non-traditional treatment in HOKY as a green screen adventure, with Canada on (Green) Screen inviting audiences to travel across the country using HD footage from Parks Canada to mark the country’s sesquicentennial.
   On the lightbox atrium wall, there’s a videogame in which players collaborate to paddle a canoe around obstacles.
Flight Painting (Photo by FROLIC Studio)
   Kids can learn coding and math with Osmo physical blocks and shapes that control playful digital characters, while Coding Characters with Little Robot Friends encourages the creative exploration of math and music, and inspires young minds to discover their inner inventor.
   Flight Painting is where visitors can create 3-D light paintings while M/O’s interactive sculpture can make the earth move along with comets, solar systems, planets and moons in a mini universe.

   If you play
   TIFF Bell Lightbox is at Reitman Square, 350 King St. W., Toronto.
   Entry to digiPlaySpace is $11 on weekdays; $13 on Saturdays and Sundays. tiff.net/kids; 1-888-599-8433

   Dreamers
   Dream Big: Engineering Our World, an immersive IMAX film, is making its Canadian premiere at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.
   It intends to “inspire the hearts and minds of Canada’s next generation of engineers,” and runs through June 29, with showings from Monday to Friday at noon.
Kids have big dreams and big fun at the Ontario Science Centre.
   MacGillivray Freeman’s film, narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, “celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels” and offers a new perspective on what it means to be an engineer.
   From the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, it showcases engineering marvels big and small with its inspiring human stories. OntarioScienceCentre.ca

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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