Getting schools kids interested in archaeology can be a challenge for teachers, but a new virtual reality exhibit in London could help change that.
Starting Thursday, visitors to the Museum of Ontario Archaeology in northwest London can take a virtual walk through a 16th century Iroquoain Longhouse.
The new exhibit was developed by Western University PhD candidate Michael Carter, and it combines the interpretation of archaeological evidence with modern methods of CGI and virtual reality production.
Wearing HTC Vive virtual reality goggles, visitors can wander through a 3D digital interpretation of life in a longhouse, see a blazing cooking fire, sleeping bunks with furs, and stored-food hanging from the rafters.
“In terms of an education tool, it’s fantastic,” said Rhonda Bathurst, executive director of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.
“It allows people to engage and be more interested. It’s not just staring at a picture on a wall or even looking at an artifact behind glass.”
This is the first virtual reality museum exhibit in the London area and Bathurst hopes more will follow.
“It is just the start of the museum’s plans to bring more innovative and engaging technology into our exhibits,” she said.
“We want visitors to have a richer learning experience and to virtually interact with the wide range of excavated artifacts stored in the museum’s collections. Visitors will gain a better understanding and appreciation of Ontario’s and Canada’s diverse cultural heritage.”
Admission to the exhibit is $2.00 per person in addition to regular museum admission.