Cube Companion

During our first NSF grant in the early nineties, the ISGE founder and author sought a novel way to provide many alternative pathway choices to our ISGE students. He designed a paper cube that could be cheaply duplicated for all ISGE students, and folded by them into a cube which they could carry around with them and memorize. The cube had the usual six sides each with nine buttons on a side, so a total of 54 commands. The nine buttons on a face would all have a similar class of function.

Here is an early version of our student artists rendition of the idea. Of course, we had an electronic version of the cube programmed. Students could pick any one of six classes of function they wanted. The cube would rotate around for them to that class of actions. Students then had nine specific actions they could choose on that exposed side.

We also designed several “personalities” for the cube and called it the Companion Cube. It was going to be their buddy for all the year of their progress through the highly detailed and difficult curriculum. At the outset (and any time within) a student could pick from different personalities for their companion (helper; challenger; skeptic; soother) depending on what they wanted their companion to act like in feedback and responses.

Imagine the surprise of the founder/author when he read  the sequel to Jurassic Park (c) 1995 and found at its end the very same navigation tool! Michael Crichton had invented the same way to put lots of alternatives in one space as the ISGE authors completely independently, anyway, I do not see how he could have found this in the ISGE reports. Creative minds travel the same paths.