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Teaching in SL

Over the years, I have been incorporating more and more technology into my chemistry classes. Here's a PP presentation I gave not that long ago. http://www.chem.tamu.edu/class/fyp/keeney/secondlife/Integrated%20Technology-its.ppt This fall (2010) will be my 3rd semester at trying to incorporate optional weekly review sessions into SL. Optional for a few reasons. (1) My classes are large; I teach two classes of about 250 students each, so obviously I cannot have everyone in SL at the same time. (2) I do have a few students under 18 - which is problematic. (3) Some students are very uncomfortable in SL. Here I'll be blogging about the trials/tribulations of encouraging students to get involved in SL. Here's the link to a video clip of a tour of my area: http://www.chem.tamu.edu/class/fyp/keeney/secondlife/drwendy-in-SL.mp4




Monday, July 12, 2010

Making a Specific Molecular Rezzer - Part 2 - Finishing up your rezzer

(1) Once you have the hin code for your molecule or ion, the easiest way is to use a molecular rezzer that has already been built and edit it.  So enter Second Life, go to my VSEPR area.  Here is the SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/12th%20Man/231/225/26 .  Right click on one of the boxes on the TOWER of VSEPR and take a copy.  

(2) Find a public sandbox where you can build, or use TAMU's sandbox.  Go to the entrance of my area and click on "Sandbox" on the 12th Man Map.  You'll get a landmark to the sandbox that will allow you to teleport to the sandbox that is about 750 meters above the ground.  You can build here for a couple of hours before your objects will be returned to your inventory. 

(3) Drag the Hiro Sheridan Molecular Rezzer box from your inventory to the sandbox.  Now we will edit it.  Right click on the box and pick edit.  In the General tab, change the name and make sure all the desired boxes are clicked. In the Texture tab, choose the texture you want.  (I use CorelDraw to produce appropriate jpg files.  I then upload the textures at L$10/texture to use in SL.  I'll be providing all the molecules and rezzers I use to anyone who wants them.).  Finally, under the content tab, we will only be editing the MoleculeNotecard, so right click on the notecard and choose Open.  Now, simply edit.  Change the title to the molecule of your choice - I'll use CO2.  Then copy and paste the hin data for atom 1, 2, etc.  The notecard now looks like:

mol 1 "CO2" (the quotes aren't necessary)
atom 1 - O ** - -0.18608 0.99436 0.00000 0.00000 1 2 d
atom 2 - C ** - 0.37217 2.19152 0.00000 0.00000 2 1 d 3 d
atom 3 - O ** - -0.18608 3.38867 0.00000 0.00000 1 2 d

Now hit the Save button and get out of edit mode.

(4)  To check your work,  left click on the box, and CO2 will appear before your eyes!  You can link the parts together by right clicking on an atom, choosing edit, holding down the shift key, then clicking on each individual atom and bond, then hitting control l (the letter L).  Try to click on the center atom last.  You'll see all the objects in blue with the last object you linked in yellow.  (Note: to unlink, hit Control Shift l (letter L).  Now the molecule is a single unit.  To name it, go into edit mode, and change the name.  To get the molecule to rotate, open your inventory and search for rotation script.  You'll find one in your library.  Drag the script into the contents tab of your molecule and exit edit mode.  You'll find it rotates very fast around the center carbon atom - the last one that was linked.  To edit the script so that the molecule spins more slowly, go back into edit mode, under the contents tab and click on the rotation script.  You'll see:

default
{
state_entry()
{
llTargetOmega(<0,0,1>,PI,1.0);
}
}

The coordinates in the angle brackets set the spin (x,y,z) and the number sets the speed of the spin.  Change the 1 (I have it bolded and in red) to 0.2, then hit save.  The spin speed will be much nicer.  Now, exit edit and right click on your rezzer box again to pick "Take" which will add it to your inventory. 

(5)  Now the trick is to get out of the sand-box.  Ours is so high, most folks cannot fly out.  You can teleport home or to another site.  However, the "funnest" way is to parachute out.  Find the ramp and on your way out of the sandbox, click to buy an E-Chute.  At the top of the ramp, open your inventory, and search for the chute.  Either drag it to your back, or right click and choose wear.  Either way, the unopen chute will appear on your backside.  Now the hard part:  walk off the end of the platform and fall.  The chute will automatically open at about 100 meters.  You can use your arrow buttons to direct your descent.  It's fun!  Here I am parachuting onto our "Aggie Beach."  Unfortunately, I landed in the water. (LOL!)

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