Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2014



“The Science Circle:  Connecting Disciplines and Inspiring Creativity”


“Celebrating over six years of continuous activities intent on connecting our world through thoughtful discourse and creative response, The Science Circle consists of over 200 scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, and students on four continents, governed by a Board whose members live in the Netherlands, Austria, Japan, Australia, and the United States. Members are  invited to participate in lively, informative, fun, and respectful presentations, discussions, and virtual field trips which are offered at least monthly. Presenters must divulge their First Life (Real Life) identities to the Director to establish their credentials, and all members must remain active. On our website  is a list of 40 fields of expertise and interests and over 60 presentations, many with transcripts/photos. The VWBPE Panel will share the story of its development and the challenges we have faced and overcome in establishing a functional and lasting community with members of diverse cultures and backgrounds. We will share some of the variety of topics we have explored and ways we have served our mission of outreach and collaboration within the context of a passionate exploration of science education. Comments and questions are welcomed. An optional field trip will be offered for those who wish to participate.”


Chantal Snoek RL / Nymf Hathaway (Chantal) SL (Present at Conference)

Founding director of The Science Circle since February 2008.

Recruits new Scientists, Educators and Entrepreneurs, Connects educational institutes within the Circle’s consortium, networking, advertising, Social media and providing a “community & home base” for participants.

All my activities under the umbrella of the Science Circle are grounded by the philosophy “Education, accessible for all”


 Jesse Stannard RL / Jes Cobalt SL (Present at Conference)

 Co-director of the Science Circle as of September 2011.

Recruit Educators with the use of networking, social media and advertisements. I also organizes events/presentations/field trips designated for the Asia/Oceania time-zone.

As a board member I also participate in monthly meetings in-which important decisions are made regarding the direction of the group.


 Phil Youngblood RL / Vic Michalak SL (Present at Conference)

 “In First Life, Phil Youngblood heads a Computer Information Systems degree program at the University of the Incarnate Word, a private university in San Antonio, Texas. Phil is a full-time administrator, teacher and learner, retired military officer, and former research biochemist, who has traveled to over 40 countries.

In Second Life, Vic Michalak is a STEM fields educator and enthusiast, owner of STEM Island, and caretaker for the university’s SL regions.”


Hajime Nishimura RL / Yan Lauria SL (Present at Conference)

Hajime Nishimura, Japan Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Yan Lauria, Curator of Abyss Observatory in SL


Steven Van Hook RL / Kip Roffo SL (Present at Conference)

Steven R. Van Hook, PhD (Kip Roffo) has been building educational resources in SecondLife for seven years. Since 2000 he has designed online courses for UCLA, UCSB, Cal Lutheran, Saylor Academy, Cardean Learning Group, and elsewhere. He has published articles on access to global learning and transcultural teaching in journals including UNESCO’s Prospects, Journal of Research in International Education, Journal of Distance Learning Administration, and others.


Deepthinker Oh RL/SL (Present at Conference)

In RL is an educational psychologist who teaches in the health sciences. She has been active with the Science Circle since 2008 and has led numerous discussions on perception, probability, and some miscellaneous areas.

Deepy is also the assistant editor of MANIERA magazine. The magazine began as a SL only publication and now has grown to be a RL paper publication. As a virtual being, she still works only on the SL activities of the magazine.


Doris Hauser RL / Dawn Rhiannyr SL  (Not present at the Conference)

My access to Science Circle is characterized by the desire to enable education for everyone.

As I do experience every day in my own work environment, many children achieve due to various disabilities or learning disabilities in our educational system not the graduation that is needed for studies at the university.

The Science Circle is one way to participate in lectures you like, to gain information and education without being forced to have a degree. 

It is an outstanding way to make education accessible to all, regardless of location, race, politics, and financial background. It is my deepest belief that education should be open to every human being and I am very grateful to be part of the Science Circle.


George Djorgovski RL / Curious George SL (not present at the Conference)

Professor of Astronomy at Caltech, with a broad interest in how computing and information technology is changing the way we do science, scholarship and education.  He was one of the founders of the Virtual Observatory framework (a global, web-based research environment for astronomy with massive and complex data sets), and one of the founders of the emerging field of astroinformatics.

He has been active in on-line education, teaching MOOCs with Coursera and edX. He was a Director of The Meta Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA) in Second Life and OpenSim, the first professional scientific organization based in Virtual Worlds,


Back to top