Hawthorne Center for Innovation


The Hawthorne Center for Innovation was started in 2001 to offer informal learning experiences to K-12 homeschoolers in the Inland Empire Area of Southern California.  Over the years it has morphed into a research center and innovation incubator committed to “predicting the future by inventing it”.

The Center is now working with an international group of researchers that shares our vision. The areas we are currently supporting are: Powerful Ideas Content and How to Transmit It, and Sustainable Living Strategies. We are particularly supportive of free and open source computing, and of community-based sustainability. We also advocate for homeschooling as an educational alternative.

The Hawthorne Center will be showcasing two great free & open source applications, Blender & Open Cobalt.

Blender is a 3D graphics application released as free software under the GNU General Public License.  It can be used for modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle, and other simulations, non-linear editing, compositing, and creating interactive 3D applications, including games.

Blender is available for a number of operating systems, including Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Blender's features include advanced simulation tools such as rigid body, fluid, cloth and softbody dynamics, modifier-based modeling tools, powerful character animation tools, a node-based material and compositing system and Python for embedded scripting.

Open Cobalt is a free and open source virtual world browser and construction toolkit application for accessing, creating, publishing, and hyperlinking avatar-based multi-user virtual worlds that are accessible both on local area networks or across the Internet. It is designed to enable the deployment of secure virtual world spaces that support education, research, and the activities of virtual organizations.

The Open Cobalt application is a type of 3D browser that can be used to define and access a network of interlinked 3D virtual environments in much the same way that web browsers are used to define and access web based content on web pages. By leveraging OpenGL-based 3D graphics, Open Cobalt supports highly scalable collaborative data visualization, virtual learning and problem solving environments, 3D wikis, online gaming environments (MMORPGs), as well as privately and securely maintained multiuser virtual environments.

To learn more about the Hawthorne Center for Innovation and to see both Blender & Open Cobalt in action, please visit booth 67.

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