This Cambridge School Has a New Take on the Classroom Pet

Posted by Tori Holmes
All images via BBC

Students at Trumpington Community College started off the school year with a brand new type of class pet: a virtual cat.

Cinder, a virtual feline, operates in a very similar way to a Pokemon Go character, appearing on student's laptops and on screens throughout the school.

Similar to the traditional classroom pet, Cinder's goal is to encourage students to connect with the school and work as a team.

Virtual classroom pet

What's interesting, though, is that the students, ages 11 to 16, actually began working to these goals before Cinder was actually in the building. In fact, they helped initially create Cinder by participating in workshops with the London-based design company Umbrellium.

Once the workshops were complete and Cinder was fully functional, she was connected to the school network and set free to "roam" the school.

Like any classroom pet, Cinder requires care from the students of the school. Cinder can appear on any laptop when she is hungry, and the students can feed the feline her favorite meal: sunshine generated by the school's solar panels.

Virtual classroom pet

As the school's solar panels gain energy from the sun, it is generated into food for Cinder. Students are given a budget of food from this solar energy from which they can feed Cinder.

So far, the virtual kitty has been a huge hit with the students who have been inspired by participating in the development and care of something they created.

Virtual classroom pet

Virtual pets in schools give students a hands-on experience working with new technology, while also teaching the importance of teamwork and caring for another creature.

All images via BBC

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