Education is king. When childrens’ minds are fed the wonderful inspiration of science, you can rest assured that tomorrow will be a better place. STEPS is the evolutionary application successor of SPRAY (Space Research and You), this time giving museums an application to write their own interactive live programs that suits the museum’s theme and content. Through multiple science educators’ feedback, STEPS’ functionality grew by leaps and bounds throughout the length of the multi-year application development.
These additional functions included in the application development is the ability to create branching timelines that allowed for new and different presentations based on the museum director and/or the audience’s input, and live cam feeds that allowed for outside material be streamed live into the presentation itself.
STEPS also triumphed over technical hurdles, such as implementing a video double-buffering system to help alleviate the lag associated with playing high-definition video on not-so-cutting-edge machines. STEPS was built on Adobe’s AIR platform, allowing it to be cross-compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux, without the usual porting nightmares of making a complex program to work on three different operating systems.