As I look back over the first six years of Imagiverse, I am amazed at just how far we have come. The idea to create the Imagiverse.ORG website came about in October 2000.
Stephanie Wong and I had a vision of what Imagiverse would become. We knew we could make an exciting place for learning, so we set about developing content based upon our own interests: Mars, science, robotics, astronomy, languages, geography and people. I began interviewing people I knew. Soon others would even suggest that a certain individual "would be a great interviewee".
As the interviews developed, I could imagine becoming a planetary geologist, a marine biologist, a roboticist, an artist, a journalist or any number of other fascinating professions. When you learn about a career from a person who loves what he or she is doing, it makes you want to learn more. I have learned something about a lot of different things. I guess what I have become is a "generalist"! :) It is fun learning a little about everything and it is really cool to have experts available when I have questions.
When it comes to asking questions, I want to know as much about the people, as their careers. Where did they come from? What were they like as children? Was school difficult for them? Were there any subjects they struggled with? I learn what they do on the job and I have found that the most important thing for all is... enjoying what you do! If you enjoy your job it is not "work”".
I like to ask questions and I know that kids like to ask questions too. Wondering about things and asking questions is a great way to learn. In 2004, Luis Flores joined our team and created our amazing Question and Answer software. He named it SNAil, which is short for Simple Network Assistant: Information Locator.
SNAil receives questions from students all over the world and routes the questions to our volunteers. While we can't do homework for students, we can help the students find the answers. Some questions are sent to our experts who provide wonderful answers. We have many great questions in our archives with responses from our awesome experts.
I enjoy learning and sharing learning with others around the world. When it comes to Imagiverse, I volunteer more hours than a full time job! Lately, we have been developing more interactive projects for classrooms and home schooled children. Last year (2006), Imagiverse took over hosting a Postcard Exchange that we had been participating in since 2003. The project grew and turned into two postcard exchanges. We had our first "Hands Around the World" project in 2006 as well. We had more than 70 participants from around the world. This year we have added a Weather Around the World exchange and we are developing other projects.
When we created Imagiverse, I was teaching Spanish and Computers and working part-time at Disneyland. Co-founder/webmaster, Stephanie Wong, was a high school student! Today, I still work at Disneyland but spend most of my time working on Imagiverse. Stephanie is now a graduate student at the University of Alberta and spends as much free time as she can find, working on Imagivere. We continue to add content and activities that we hope will spark the imagination and light the flame of learning.
Where do we go from here? We plan to continue our vision and create more content, interview more amazing people, and spread the word to more teachers. We hope to acquire funding to expand our work and hire people to take over the many tasks that are becoming too much for three people on a volunteer basis.
Happy Birthday to Imagiverse!
Imagiverse.ORG turns six years old on August 8, 2007. We hope to celebrate many more years of adventures in learning. I want to personally thank our many experts and volunteers, without whom Imagiverse would not exist. I also want to thank contributors from around the world and the many teachers and school children who found our pages and participate in our activities.
26 March 2023
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