Dr Mindflip - physics outreach with a difference

11 December 2018

Dr Mindlfip’s Ultimate Learning Experience is a physics outreach project with a difference! A converted vintage caravan that took a tour around three of the four provinces of Ireland for Science Week 2018.

The caravan, resembling a type of metallic machine on the outside, something you could imagine out of a Tim Burton movie, turns out to be an interactive video game about physics on the inside.
Dr Mindflip Group

'Dr. MindFlip’s Ultimate Learning Experience’ is aimed towards transition year students and was developed in partnership with academic staff at The Department of Experimental Physics at Maynooth University and a large team of artists, designers, musicians, gamers and actors from a wide spectrum of backgrounds who created the project from scratch.

The team chose to primarily visit girls’ schools during its tour around Ireland in order to increase interest in physics among girls, as they are typically underrepresented in the field.

Upon entering the caravan, the students are immediately immersed in a ‘choose your own adventure’ game where they follow the story of a mad scientist, Dr MindFlip, and his robot assistant Anustasia.

Dr Mindflip Montage

The students work their way through the doctor’s scientific archives from years past while learning some fascinating facts about the universe and how it works, before being tested on their knowledge of the chosen topics.

Students playing the game get to choose three of nine options: Nuclear Energy, Quantum Physics, The Physics of Sound, Astrophysics, Energy, Light as a Wave, Lasers, Electromagnetism and Gravity.

Each option is based in a different time period and the players follow the Doctor’s spiralling career from a hotshot nuclear physicist in the 1950s to a broke and elderly science vlogger in the early 2000s while all the while his robot assistant Anustasia becomes more and more technologically advanced.

Dr MindFlip’s Ultimate Learning Experience is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Institute of Physics. It has been made by a team of artists, filmmakers, scriptwriters, designers and scientists who describe it as a light-hearted and educational exploration into the laws of physics and science, created specifically for Science Week 2018.

Team members: Aidan Guilfoyle, Barnabus Cowlsley, Dan Nickström (MU), Patrick McGlynn, Paulina Nickström, Sławek Bracki, Tess Pickell & Tomás Donaghy

Special thanks to Dr Neil Trappe (MU).

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