There’s a science to storytelling, and Del Padre Digital is currently at the forefront of the latest techniques.Del Padre is one of several partners in a cutting-edge educational project funded by the National Science Foundation that is poised to change the face of science education. We’ve joined forces with the Space Science Institute of Boulder, Colo., the SETI institute in Mountain View, Calif., NASA, and a number of science centers and museums of varying size to help launch STEPS, or Science Theater Educational Programming System.

STEPS is an application being developed for use by educators in museums across the country. It will create interactive presentations to help science educators of all types stage theatrical presentations for museum audiences, using state-of-the-art technology, live action sequences, animation, and other components.

Del Padre Digital has been tasked with developing the multimedia aspects of STEPS, utilizing the latest tools in digital design to create a software engine with groundbreaking, yet easy-to-use functionality.

As part of this endeavor, Del Padre Digital’s creative director, Mark Archer, recently attended the Theater in Museums Workshop at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. There, the STEPS team was able to glean information regarding the strengths, challenges, and opportunities facing science education today, as well as film a trailer announcing STEPS.“We were able to take part in discussions that have to do with all parts of ‘science theater,’ including audience participation, script writing, funding, producing, and the use of improvisation,” he says. “Plus, we were able to film while we were learning, creating an informational video featuring members of the STEPS team.”

Del Padre Digital’s creative director Mark Archer (right) films at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis with STEPS founder Brad McLain of the Space Science Institute.

The video will be shown at the ASTC (Association of Science Technology Centers) annual conference, to be held at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. Oct. 18 to 21.

“The attendees at the ASTC conference are a core audience for us,” says Archer. “This is a groundbreaking project – there’s nothing else like it out there. We’re trying to create an early buzz.”

STEPS is slated for completion in 2010.

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