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Revealing Sustainability
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This is Stillwater (TiS) is an experiment to determine if understanding  communities in fuller context can impact awareness, engagement, and meaningful action.   The project uses a 'Digital Twin' of the Stillwater area as an integral part of this effort.

Why:  Attention capacities are thin...delivering more 'conventionally packaged' information is counterproductive.  Accordingly, we're exploring how to make details of our community more digestible and meaningful - regardless of age, knowledge, or experience.

Endgame:  Sustainability being lead focus - Reduce the effort to learn about ourselves, increase the curiosity to do so, and know the measurable context of our actions.

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We are proudly funded through local grants administered by the Saint Croix Valley Foundation

Play gets to Work

Building on our progress using Andersen Elementary last school year, the decision was made for '23/24 to broaden efforts for assimilating the REAL world into PLAY (via Minecraft).  These three sites (two elementary schools and one of community impact) were chosen for their direct relevance to students, and the motivational opportunities for learning through a medium they know well.  Tandem skills being brought to bear include Team Building, Problem Definition & Solving, Communication, Creativity and more.

Realm of Students

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2023 provided opportunity to adjust:  Instead of bringing students to our 'Real World' digital twin, we brought it to the gaming world of students utilizing their interests and strengths.  Doing so opened more practical experiences for learning, creative thinking, collaboration, and to participate in a real community matter they know and have personal opinions on.  In this case - Andersen Elementary School.

TiS converted six city blocks into a monochrome 'voxelized' model...usable in MineCraft.  From there, students of Andersen, Lake Elmo, Stillwater Middle, and Oakland Middle applied their varying skills to bring this segment of Bayport to life...triggering many relevant ideas and discussions along the way.

Real Data

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At Stillwater Middle School, there is a large scale map of the Saint Croix River embedded in the floor tile adjacent the Media Center.  Interesting at first, countless feet have traversed over it giving little or no attention to the stories (past or present) it can tell.  In May 2023, in concert with a Synergy Club Design Jam event, TiS used the opportunity to bring data from the Digital Twin to life in a different, yet no less relevant context.

The proposed CAFO near Trade Lake, WI, the Wells-in-Exceedance of southern WASHCO, and Core Sample Research conducted by the Saint Croix Research Station and MN Science Museum (1999-2001) were extracted from the prototype and scaled to fit along the school's floor tile providing a unique context for discussion.




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