South Australian primary school students have connected with local older people to bridge the tech gap between generations.
Year 5/6 Mitcham Primary STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) students got together with ECH’s home care and retirement living clients as part of their Community Day Program at the Cumberland Park Community Centre to breathe life into Augmented Reality (AR) games.
AR gaming is the real-time integration of virtual game elements with the physical environment of the user, detecting the real world and then overlaying game visuals and audio using sensors such as cameras, microphones and global positioning systems. AR games can be played from a smartphone or a computer.
Affectionately known as “The Cumby Crew”, the Community Centre is a partnership between ECH and the local council to host weekly activities that foster engagement from older people with the community.
One of those activities was a STEM project that saw students create AR games with older people in mind across two terms. Students got to showcase their creations to the people who will benefit from their ingenuity in the future.
“They need to be aware that some older people do suffer with vertigo or dizziness so if the children could make it that they’re (users) using their hand and it’s slower movement, I think that’s better. But they’ve done an absolutely fabulous job. I had so much fun,” said Elizabeth, another member.
ECH Chief Executive Claire Scapinello said creating these meaningful connections within the local community was essential to clients’ overall health and well-being.
“The Cumby Crew have been presented with an exciting window into the future. The interactive games have been thoughtfully designed to actively encourage movement among older individuals, which is pivotal for their overall well-being,” she said.
“The collaboration between young minds and seasoned individuals underscores the invaluable exchange of knowledge and experience that takes place when generations come together with a common goal.”