Last Sunday, UDAEF hosted a free pop-up workshop for the community called Sonic Sandbox, partnering with local nonprofit CreateAccess to dispel some of the mystery around artificial intelligence (AI) and to encourage exploration of 3D creation.
Using the popular online game Fortnite as a platform, six local families used Unreal Editor for Fortnite, a realtime 3D creation tool, to image and insert a 3D model of a musical instrument into their own Fortnite island. Even more thrilling for creators was hearing their own song, written with AI assistance, initiated each time the instrument was approached by a game avatar.
Kids saw the Fortnite context as a big plus for this kind of workshop, as each included the “gaming” as a favorite part of their time. Kevin Quinn, CreateAccess consultant and Lead of Curriculum at Malvern Preparatory School, said their education strategy is no accident. “Learning happens when you’re pursuing something you care about,” he explained. “It’s flipping around the education model and meeting kids where they’re at.”
Enabling both children and their parents to participate in the hands-on portions of the workshop led to some heartwarming collaborations and opened the door to more family conversation about continued use of these emerging tools. “Being willing to engage in AI and 3D puts you on the leading edge of where the world is going,” encouraged Liz Dailey, Executive Director of CreateAccess, who helped found the nonprofit in order to promote access to these new 3D creation tools as both creative and economic opportunities.
For Rachel Brown, UDAEF Education Director, the Sonic Sandbox workshop proved the success of these fall community pop-up classes in growing children’s creativity, whether through exploration of new instruments, new performance techniques, or new ways of experiencing the world around them. She said, “Our goal with Sonic Sandbox is really to spark an interest in these emerging tools and to provide exposure to the many options available at the intersection of music, AI and 3D modeling.” For the many participants eager to continue with these tools, she said that the Foundation is working to offer more Sonic Sandbox workshops in 2024.
For information about other upcoming UDAEF pop-up classes, see our upcoming events.