Interactive Vessel

The primary attraction of the station is the interactive blood vessel. In my design I wanted to bring the vision of microscopic blood cells to a more familiar and child friendly size. The design was aimed to replicate a blood vessel that children could use blood cells to replicate blood flow. This vessel can function in two modes: online or offline. Offline, the vessel acts as a standalone science manipulative. Users can create and observe blood flow by mixing tangible normal red blood cells, white blood cells, sickle red blood cells, and platelets.

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Pamphlet

Following user studies, I decided to also generate a pamphlet specific to the Sickle Cell Station (Fig. \ref{fig:Pamphlet}). The pamphlet was designed to be large enough to children hold easily and contain an image on the cover to grab their attention. I used only images and text found in other parts of the station for consistency during testing and evaluations on learning. The text and images are taken directly from the screens of the tablet application and information poster.

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Poster

The station also includes an information poster measuring six feet by three feet (shown below). The poster illustrates a large blood vessel, and defines some basic principles and characteristics of the human circulatory system and issues related to sickle cell disease, including four types of blood cells, the shape and stiffness of sickle cells, and the cause of pain from sickle cells. This information is intended to build the understanding of blood by complementing the tangible and virtual materials and provide a written version of the information we are trying to share.

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Tablet

I use a tablet application to generate an augmented reality “microscope view” of the hemoglobin over the tangible cells. This tangible representation is reinforced by the augmented reality view that visually shows both types of hemoglobin in its respective structures. On top of each cell is a tag for the augmented reality software to recognize the three dimensional orientation for image projection. The microscope mode uses the Vuforia augmented reality software development kit (SDK) and its extension to the Unity game engine, allowing easy porting to both the Android and iOS operating systems.

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