Virtual Quarry wins major award
THE Quarry Products Association’s flagship educational web site, the Virtual Quarry (www.virtualquarry.co.uk), has won a major prize in the 2006 Communicators in Business Awards. The site, which was only launched in January this year, beat off stiff competition to pick up the ‘Most Imaginative Design’ award.
Helping young people to make the link between their local quarry and the built environment, the Virtual Quarry site features a fully interactive 3D tour of a hard rock quarry, with specially created animated characters to explain the processes involved in extracting, producing and transporting quarry products. The tour also includes background on the planning process and archaeology, as well as a look at how quarries are restored.
Alongside the virtual tour, the site also features films and animations, a game that helps to highlight the importance of careful environmental management, a ‘virtual microscope’ that allows children to examine rocks in more detail, and news of a wide range of industry-related days out for children with their class or family.
To ensure the site is as relevant and useful as possible for young people, the QPA worked with a team of teachers to develop 20 teaching units that can be downloaded for free use in the classroom. These feed directly into the national curriculum to make them easy to adopt.
Commenting on the award, the project’s director, Elizabeth Clements, said: ‘This has been a truly exciting project to be involved with and has seen the Association work in a new direction with young people. Not only have we created a unique and powerful learning resource that is relevant to today’s young audiences, but we have also been recognized as the authors of a site that is at the forefront of modern web design.’