Talk about a magic school bus!
A group of Kings County do-gooders is raising millions of dollars to purchase and retrofit a people mover with holographic technology, which they will use to educate local youngsters about the Holocaust and its survivors, according to the man leading the effort.
“We’re going to use technology to transport kids to a different era,” said Bill Tingling, the founder and head honcho of the Flatlands-based School News Nationwide, which since 2009 has provided free Holocaust-education programming to kids.
Tingling will work with archivists and technicians at the University of Southern California to soup up his yet-to-be-bought “Tour for Tolerance” bus with windows that will allow tykes to peer outside — and into the past, with help from the tech that can project scenes of civil-rights marches and Holocaust victims being led into concentration camps onto the glass, he said.
The ride’s augmented-reality technology will also portray animated portraits of historical figures that are pre-programmed to deliver thousands of responses to inquisitive young passengers, similar to the holographic Holocaust survivors featured as part of an exhibit at Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage that opened last year, Tingling said.
“They’ll be able to ask Martin Luther King, Jr., all kinds of questions,” he said.
But the bus won’t require holograms to share all of its eye-witness accounts, according to Tingling, who said a living Holocaust survivor from New York City will join every ride, in order to give the kids human contact with what he called a dwindling population of people.
“We want every middle and high school student to be able to see and hear the story of a survivor before they’re all gone,” he said.
To date, the group collected around $100,000 of the $3 million it needs to buy and build the bus, said Tingling, who hopes the high-tech ride — which he said would be able to host some 50,000 kids annually — will start cruising city streets sometime in 2019.
Locals interesting in learning more about or donating to the “Tour for Tolerance” bus project can visit www.tourf