SPIRIT - The Role of Alice

Alice is an educational software product that was developed at Carnegie Mellon University and available as a free download from the Alice website. It has been used to teach computer programming to students in a welcoming manner. Using Alice's innovative 3D environment, students can create virtual worlds to convey knowledge through storytelling or play interactive video games. The process of using Alice teaches students the fundamentals of object-oriented programming. Users work with and control the behavior (actions) of their 3D objects in their 3D virtual worlds.

The SPIRIT program for teachers will show them how to use Alice as a tool to deliver lessons in a variety of subjects. Program staff will present suggested lesson plans for science, technology, engineering, math, and other subjects. Teachers will learn both the basic and advanced features of Alice, and use both to create new, Alice-based lessons in their own subject areas. They will practice using their Alice lessons with small groups of high school students. This feedback will be used to further refine the lessons for later use by teachers during the school year.

The SPIRIT program for high school students will introduce Alice to students as a way to convey their knowledge and ideas in an animated, virtual world. Students will have the opportunity to create an interactive story and/or 3D video game that will be presented to all program participants on the last day of the program.

The SPIRIT program for high school guidance counselors will demonstrate how a interesting computer-based tool can be used to engage students' interest in the discipline of computing. Counselors will also have the opportunity to use Alice to build their own virtual worlds to help support their counseling function.