Sensory Explorations of Nature in School Environments

The SENSE project is a Learning through Landscapes partnership project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. It brings together academics and education specialists to explore the innovative use of prototype haptic digital devices to see if they can support the learning and development of children. 

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About the project

Haptic devices use our sense of touch. We will be exploring outdoor educational activities using our sense of touch to see if and how these new haptic devices can support our work with children outdoors. 

The project will engage with ten schools across the UK who will take part in a range of sensory activities, feeding back to researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London, and the Open University. This feedback will inform research across the following themes: 

  • Use of Technology: with evaluations of haptic interfaces and how these devices invoke feelings and emotions, and impact on curiosity, vocabulary, memory, and conceptual thinking;
  • Outdoor Education: looking at how we incorporate touch and affect into the observational experiences of young naturalists;
  • Nature Connection: to what extent do our technologies and activities increase connectedness to nature. 

The lead partner on this project is the Open University. The project will run from October 2021 until October 2024. 

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