Curio is an educational app that doesn’t teach. Using AR, kids can fuel their innate curiosity by exploring our world
UX Designer / Technical Game Designer
Today’s education system is flawed. Since birth, children have been told to learn by doing and being curious. Once at the age of 5, this all changes. Children are pushed into classrooms and are expected to consume spoon fed information, instead of learning it themselves. This causes children to grow out of this innate method of learning, and are left with an unnatural and ineffective method. As they age, many children lose their innate curiosity for knowledge, and are now are no longer excited to learn.
The statistics are evident. In Canada, 4 provinces are significantly below the national mean grades in science. Science is a subject that revolves around a person’s drive to ask questions about the world, and due to our current way of learning, it’s no wonder why children are not interested in this field.
For this reason, we wanted to make an educational application that doesn’t teach. Instead, it promotes the innate curiosity of children to reignite. Using an app we created, Curio, children can discover new aspects of their world, based off of what they are curious to know.
Our mission is to motivate children to be curious and ask questions. Some of the most brilliant minds within our world grew up searching for knowledge instead of being spoon fed it by others. Using Curio, children are not forced to learn; instead, they are encouraged to. By searching through our everyday world, children can discover new information that they may not have otherwise searched for.
Our target audience is 8-12 year olds. These children are young and are either about to be introduced or have just recently introduced into science as a subject.
how it works
Curio is a smartphone application that has the ability to scan objects in your environment using augmented reality. Once an object has been found, the user can click on the object to learn curiosity sparking information about it (such as composition, environmental impact, how it’s made, etc.) as well as to earn XP. After specific object types have been scanned, the user may be prompted about a challenge to further promote exploration. If completed, the user will obtain XP. The amount of XP the user accumulates will be put on a leaderboard to compete with friends. This gamification element keeps the user engaged and continuously wanting to search for new items and information.
In the future, we would begin by creating a library of found objects. From there, we would also increase the number of objects that can be detected by Curio. We would also add other gamification challenges that would engage the user to continue to keep playing. Finally, we would implement the social aspect of Curio. This would include leaderboards, friends, etc.
We believe that Curio has a bright future ahead of it. In the classroom, Curio can become one of the main tools for learning instead of assigning homework. As an example, teachers can have an optional challenge within the app that gets rewarded every Friday. From there, science-based businesses can even make use of this tool. For example, science museums such as Science North can make Curio a tool to discover items around the museum. The children could then use their XP as cash to buy science-based objects such as rocks, plants, etc.