This year in Digital WAVE, students are learning all about climate change and how it is related to south Florida environments – specifically mangroves. During class time they are using the same technology and software that scientists, animators, and designers use to model complex systems or create graphics for movies. And students have been using this technology at a state-of-the-art design lab at Miami Dade College-North Campus in order to design their own mangrove trees, which will be part of a 3D virtual exhibit they are creating.
Even though students have the incredible opportunity to create mangroves in a 3D virtual environment, there is also nothing like seeing mangroves in the 3D real environment. So the Digital WAVE students embarked on a trip to Biscayne National Park to go canoeing among the real mangroves. They learned about mangroves’ importance as marine habitats and as a kind of protection for us against the full force of hurricanes. The experience in this fun “outdoor lab” has inspired even more creativity when the students returned to the fun indoor lab. Some students may have temporarily ended up out of the canoe and in the water – but that’s all part of the fun.