Mission Control

An immersive role-play installation to educate students about science, engineering and coding.

The Dutch government, education and business developed the Technology Pact 2020 to counter the growing shortage of technically skilled workers. The installation Mission Control is an electrical engineering puzzle that fits into this pact. It is designed for students in primary education, following the ‘learning by doing’ principles. Completing puzzles and progressing through the story in which the students play themselves, they learn about science, engineering and coding.

Mission Control is an installation made by the project group Macaw: Thomas Huster, Vincent Soffers, Roman Guérin and Ludo Poot. 2017

education gamification interactive tactile

Paper prototyping

To enter dialogue with potential investors and clients about an educational installation like this, we built a prototype showing the possibilities of an installation in education and to show our manufacturing quality.

Design mobile puzzle

Various concept sketches were made to explore design and construction possibilities of the demo game.

The theme of the narrative is built around the concept of space, a theme that sparks imagination and allows for the development of an exciting story. Solve the problem so the space shuttle can launch!

Immersive role-play

What is more fun than learning? Playing! The design of the game incorporates team play between the students. The mobile installation acts as an interactive theatre for kids to play and discover.

Final design demo

Design of the demo puzzle module. This unit poses a challenge about RGB color mixing and frequency. The player is tasked to match the reference element and has to work with dials and switches to match the example. A more comprehensive game would for example include wires and a patch maker.

European Space Agency

A trip to ESA in Noordwijk provided us with photos of real spaceshuttles and various space user interfaces for our design inspiration.

Making the demo game, we used an Arduino, pod-meters, switches and lots of digital LED strips.

Talboom BV, industrial supplier of plastic sheet material, supported us by providing material for the product. A laser cutter was used to process the acrylic sheets according to our drawings.

A picture showing the end product with glowing lights, showing the mixed streams of RGB colors and the frequency mixer.