Students discover 3D animations through Alice
Ebène, 27 July, 2017: The National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) in collaboration with Oracle Mauritius and the University of Mauritius is organising a workshop for students aged 9 to 12 years as from next week. This workshop is designed for students with little or no programming experience and teaches basic Java programming concepts through developing 3-D animations using the Alice 3.1 software.

Alice is a free, educational, introductory Java development environment created at Carnegie Mellon University. In the workshop, students will have fun creating animated stories and games using objects and characters from a rich gallery of 3-D models.

The objective behind this project is to better familiarise students with 3-D animation techniques and in a broader sense, to make a more productive use of their vacations. The workshop will run for three consecutive days from the 1st to the 3rd August and will be led by the trainers of Oracle. Some 100 students divided in three batches will be trained over these three days.

According to Mr. Dev Appalswamy, this is a bright opportunity for the students to learn about innovative tools and practices that they can use in their future educational and professional activities. “The NPCC has a mandate to drive the productivity movement in Mauritius. Undoubtedly, productivity goes hand in hand with innovation and the Alice project is one that responds perfectly to our quest to instill a culture of innovation among our young people. We also believe in inculcating these innovative skills right from a tender age,” Mr. Appalswamy points out.

The project is in line with the NPCC’s strategic plan 2016-2019, “Unleashing Full potential through positive habits”, which lays strong emphasis on the development of an innovation culture in Mauritius through skills development and recognition programmes. 

Alice is an innovative block-based programming platform that facilitates the creation of animations, building of interactive narratives and programming of simple games in 3D.

The programme is designed to teach logical and computational thinking skills, fundamental principles of programming and to be a first exposure to object-oriented programming. The Alice project provides supplemental tools and materials for teaching using Alice across a spectrum of ages and subject matter with proven benefits in engaging and retaining diverse and underserved groups in computer science education.
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