Cultural heritage in sustainable development – AR Quest

Do you know why Coca Cola has the Coca in the name? Are 24 “holes” in Petit Beurre biscuits accidentally there or they have deeper meaning? Do you know who invented ketchup? What types of cocoa beans are used for chocolate? Have you ever visited sanatorium where cornflakes are invented?

Cultural heritage and STEAM

At the mention of sustainable development and sustainability, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the thought of ecology, environmental science, recycling and similar. What is still very important, and lesser known, is that one of the crucial roles of sustainable development (SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) plays preservation of cultural heritage. Target 11.4 calls for strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage. UNESCO’s work has addressed this goal even before its formal introduction in 2015.

Each country has a rich cultural heritage that can be successfully integrated into the teaching process of each subject, especially in STEAM, in order to achieve curricular outcomes. Moreover, there are such elements of cultural heritage that are known on a global scale. How to fit them into the teaching process, achieve a high level of engagement, develop crucial 21st skills, and at the same time make the whole learning process fun? By using gamification and augmented reality technology in order to create an AR Quest.

Augmented Reality and gamification

Using AssemblrEDU app for augmented reality and Europeana resources students are taken on a global quest around the Earth. As they visit various places, they are discovering fun facts about various soft drinks like Coca Cola, well known food products (ketchup) and food plants (cocoa and corn) throughout the history. They are learning about rich cultural heritage while achieving curriculum outcomes. To finish their quest, they need to solve a problem attached to each location. By completing all the stations and by solving all the math problems, they unlock the words used in the word search puzzle created in Genially tool. When the student solving the puzzle finds all the words, the hidden message will be revealed.

The students only need a mobile device with AssemblrEDU app to activate AR Quest. This activity is made for a remote teaching environment but can be easily used in any teaching environment.

running augmented reality experience

Aim of the lesson and integration

The aim of this interdisciplinary lesson is to practice math modelling real life problems, learn about cultural impact of various famous food products, gain new vocabulary in English and gain skills in using augmented reality technology.

Students develop all language skills (reading, listening, speaking, writing).

In the national Math curriculum for the 1st grade (15-year-old students) there is an outcome “Applies proportionality, percentages, linear equations and systems”, by which students need to gain skills of mathematical modelling in math, from other fields and life. Also, to solve linear equations and systems of linear equations.

Learning scenario is easily integrated in any  English language lesson. As in national curriculum stands a unit for students to analyse a custom text in writing and also to listen with understanding all this is supported in scenario. One of the outcomes is to communicate in formal and non-formal situations, therefore, it fits in any of English lessons.

History curriculum contains a unit on industrial revolution, which covers the topic of key inventions and scientific discoveries as drivers of industrial revolutions and changes in daily life.

This lesson can be used for Biology covering a topic on various food plants, and nutrition facts.

ICT has a unit on using new technologies and apps, in which this scenario fits perfectly with using AssemblrEDU app as a tool for activating AR Quest and using augmented reality technology.

Augmented Reality EarthQuest

After intriguing the students with questions posted above, they were provided with a QR code for a quest around the Globe to answer these questions. Students get a math Worksheet which they individually need to fill visiting stations on an AR Quest. Using AssemblrEDU app they „visit“ different places, read and watch fun facts about food products, drinks and food plants. On each station, one math problem is given. They need to write it down and solve it.

A story about Pemberton as embedded YT video

In the last location of the tour, link to an interactive quiz for self evaluation is given. As students give the right solution, a word appears. If their solution doesn`t make sense or it is not given, students will know they need to reassess their errors. At the end the words should be crossed out in an online word search puzzle (students can also print it out if it is more convenient for them). After crossing out all the words, a hidden message appears as a final solution. (“Enjoy little things in life”).

the final task of the Quest

Last year during the lockdown I made and used this learning scenario with different tools and with different students (the original learning scenario can be found here). I have used Google Earth app in order to make a virtual tour. But this year I have used a different approach to achieve an even higher level of engagement. I wanted to give my students the opportunity to interact in a different way. So, I have modified the activities and combined immersive AR technology with gamification. The use of AR and AssemblerEDU app was a real game changer for achieving high levels of engagement, excitement and teaching for and with creativity. Students were thrilled with this AR Quest. The activity was implemented on students aged 17-18 of age as a retrieval practice for state exam. It was a great addition after learning about sustainable development goals for raising student awareness about cultural heritage as one of the SD goals.