get chance to test products
Tess Rubenstein stared intently into the computer
monitor, clicking on a colorful image of a toucan.
The animated digital bird began talking to the
student, giving her the lowdown on life in a Central
American rain forest.
Rubenstein was one of about 1,500
kids yesterday sampling the software and other
computer products at the Children’s Interactive
Expo at San Francisco’s Fort Mason.
With more than 200 exhibitors at
the expo, kids, parents and teachers have plenty
of opportunities to get wired with the latest
in educational computer products. "The goal
of the show is to provide kids with hands-on experience
with computers so they can choose what they like,"
said Shannon Tobin, organizer of the event.
But the mass of children roaming
through the pavilion won’t find any shoot-‘em-up
computer games. All the products at the expo were
screened to be "educationally sound, "Tobin
The trick is to create products
that kids like that also teach them something
A long line was formed in front
of the VRQuest™ exhibit, a program that lets kids
take a journey into virtual reality.
VRQuest™, a product of -based VR
Quest, is a multimedia Virtual Reality lab that
allows students to create a virtual environment
and solve global problems, such as destruction
of the ozone layer, within that environment, said
Warren Black, creator of VRQuest™.
Students strap on a Darth Vader-like
headpiece for their virtual journey, ready to
navigate their way through a problem-plagued digital
world, where the turn off air conditioners and
destroy aerosol cans in hopes of saving the ozone
interesting, because I never used virtual reality
before," said Rachel Fleitman, a 12-year-old
from the Case Chinese-American School in San Francisco.
has programs in Washington D.C. Public Schools
Boys and Girls’ Clubs and schools in California.
San Rafael’s Autodesk Inc. donated the high-powered
software needed for VRQuest™, Compton said.
from Marin Independent Journal, Business Section,
B* Thursday, October 2, 1997