Waterloo Earth Sciences Museum brings the prehistoric into your future

Waterloo - Bringing the prehistoric back to life is not just for the movies: soon, anyone anywhere with access to a smartphone, tablet or computer will be able to interact with the University of Waterloo Earth Sciences Museum’s exhibits, thanks to a new five-year partnership with Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada®.

“This partnership allows us as educators to communicate with people on a new platform. It helps us break new ground and take the Museum beyond its physical walls.” said Corina McDonald, museum curator. “We are very excited about the possibilities. We could build a dinosaur skeleton puzzle that visitors experience in three dimensions and, when successfully completed, fleshes out and comes to life in its former habitat and walks the visitor through the process of its extinction. To be able to invite students and the general public from around the world to explore our prehistoric and geologic past right in their own living rooms is truly incredible.”

This $200,000 partnership enables the Museum to develop and design exhibits that are built with a combination of advanced digital technologies, including 3D visualization, augmented and virtual reality, and are accessed through innovative web and mobile applications.

“The project taps into everything the University of Waterloo is known for, “ said Bill Taylor, chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Waterloo. “Our Earth Sciences Museum is harnessing the possibilities of technology and Waterloo’s innovative spirit to bring science education to our community in a very unique and exciting way.”

The exhibits will be designed in consultation with local elementary and high school teachers and will complement classroom curricula and existing Waterloo Science outreach programs.

“We’re pleased to be able to support the University of Waterloo’s Earth Sciences Museum in this exciting project,” said Ronald Beettam, President and CEO, Equitable Life. “Supporting education is an important component of our philanthropy strategy. This initiative not only brings dinosaurs back to life, but it does it in a way that extends well beyond the physical walls of the museum itself or even a classroom. The potential reach of this initiative is exceptional.”

The work on the exhibits is already underway. By this time next year the content and technological architecture should be completed with an eye to unveiling the first exhibit to the public in 2018.

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