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    Frantz Lucien, Jr. ’12: Bridging the Digital Divide

    December 1, 2021
    My question was, how do I translate that (immersive experience) when I am sitting in my living room with a sunset painting behind my head?

    One alumnus combines a love of science and communication — plus his hip-hop performance skills — to teach STEM concepts and digital literacy all over the world.

    By Frantz Lucien’s own estimation, he’s taught students across the U.S. and on every continent except Antarctica, all from the dock of Pier 86 in New York City.

    As the manager of Interactive Experience and Family Engagement and a museum educator at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Pier 86, Lucien ’12 created a distance-learning program for the museum in 2016. The Intrepid Museum is a nonprofit educational institution that features the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, a National Historic Landmark that served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War, plus home to America’s first space shuttle, Enterprise, and jets and submarines. The museum presents exhibitions and interactive educational programming that showcase American innovation and bravery.

    “I take a lot of pride in the fact that I created our distance-learning, virtual field trip program,” said Lucien, who majored in communication and media studies on the broadcast track at Scranton. “And it was one of the reasons we were able to pivot so quickly (when COVID happened) and go to the digital version of our museum and do different digital programming.”

    Prior to the pandemic, Lucien would traverse the floor of the museum with an iPad to host virtual field trips, teaching students from as far away as Texas and China. He said teachers often told him that their students felt like they were right there with him at the museum. Fast forward to March 2020. Lucien sought to replicate that experience, even when the museum was closed at the height of the pandemic.

    “My question was, how do I translate that (immersive experience) when I am sitting in my living room with a sunset painting behind my head?” Lucien said. “So I immediately went down to the ship — because I didn’t live too far from the ship — right before everything closed down. And I took videos walking through and talking, like what we normally do. And then I edited those videos and added different pictures and video clips, and they literally got shared all over the world.”

    Continue reading in The Scranton Journal.

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