Home » Museum’s new exhibit on virtual reality ‘makes the science seem kind of magical’

Museum’s new exhibit on virtual reality ‘makes the science seem kind of magical’

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The sight of a giant blue whale swimming near a wreck that seems so close to touch is a virtual reality experience visitors with headsets will encounter at the “Reinventing Reality” exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science on Saturday. .

For ages 7 and up, the 5,000-square-foot traveling exhibit takes you through a virtual world in four 6-minute, full-body virtual environments, including an ocean experience, explaining the science behind it through 15 hands-on exhibits. .

“After so many years of not being able to go out and do something, it’s great to be able to touch and play with something new,” says Matt Dempsey with his 4-year-old son Nathan. Told.

Marisa Wigglesworth, president of the museum, said: “We’ve broken down what’s going on in the experience, leaving us with a much stronger understanding of what’s going on than when we entered.”

This is the 4th tour stop of the exhibit produced by the Virtual Science Center in San Jose, California.

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“Our nonprofit is really interested in getting kids, especially an underrepresented audience, to have STEM careers,” said the center’s co-founder, who has a background in design and museum exhibits. Megan Lee, Executive Director and Executive Director, said. “The show is designed to really get girls hooked and is bilingual in English and Spanish.”

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Visitors see their bodies mapped as a 3D cloud of dots, experience the illusion of arms growing into virtual bodies, and learn about various technologies such as cameras, sensors, and accelerometers. I can. world.

An obsolete stereoscopic 3D view master from the 1930s is used to demonstrate how a virtual reality headset uses two screens in a similar fashion.

“We use VR as a hook, but it’s about learning science,” says Lee.

DaShawn Dean, a sixth grade student at the Charles R. Drew School of Science and Magnets, got a chance to check out the exhibit with her classmates on Tuesday. He was already familiar with this technology because he has his virtual reality headset in his home.

“It’s a place where you can experience life like you’ve never seen it before,” Dashawn said of the exhibit. “The science museum is also great for learning about historical events and other things in the history of science.” It’s a great place.”

Meghan Lee, Executive Director of the Virtual Science Center, takes us through the “Reinventing Reality” exhibition at the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Professionals who use or create virtual reality will be featured on individual video stations demonstrating the application of new technologies to entertainment, medical training, spacecraft design, and journalism.

“VR seems magical and impossible, but I think the technology is actually understandable,” says Lee. “It makes science look kind of magical.”

While virtual technology and its future implications for society are raising societal concerns, the exhibit focuses solely on science and experience.

“This exhibit doesn’t address broader social conversations or implications,” Wigglesworth said. “The truth is that this technology is really becoming pervasive in how many of us experience the world, and an opportunity to understand it a little more could benefit everyone.”

The “Reinventing Reality” exhibition runs until June 18th. Tickets are $23-$26 and $6 for museum members. For more information, Sciencebuff.org.

Mark Sommer covers conservation, development, waterfronts, culture and more. He is also the former art his editor of The News.

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