Virginia Tech and the Science Museum of Western Virginia partnership
Virginia Tech and the Science Museum of Western Virginia have forged a unique relationship to support the pathway of university research to public engagement at the museum. The partnership includes:
- Long-term museum exhibits from Virginia Tech stakeholders
- Workshops and camps at the museum from Virginia Tech faculty and staff
- Internships at the Museum for Virginia Tech students
- Collaborative space design by Museum and Virginia Tech staff
- The joint production of the Virginia Tech Science Festival
- An outlet for broader impacts and outreach projects that support sponsored research
For Virginia Tech, the partnership supports the pathway of university research to public engagement. For the museum, the partnership provides programming, exhibits, expertise, and interns. Dr. Phyllis Newbill, a jointly supported researcher in informal education, facilitates faculty, students, and staff from both organizations to catalyze and sustain this collaboration. She spends one day a week at the museum and the remaining days at Virginia Tech. At Virginia Tech, the partnership is overseen by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the College of Science.
Virginia Tech Featured Projects
Dense Space – Paola Zellner and Charles Nichols – Dense Space is a responsive audiovisual environment. It explores the use of linear fibre material to generate forms that in their interplay with light and motion densify the space, increasing its presence, and augmenting the experience of space. It is accompanied by Charles Nichols’ composition, Beyond the Dark.
Mirrorcraft – Ico Bukvic – Mirrorcraft is an interactive exhibit that allows the user to see his or her mirror image in the version of a Minecraft avatar. A Kinect will allow the avatar to mirror the user’s body and facial movements.
Plasma – Virginia Tech creative technologies graduate student George Hardebeck combined the interactive technology of the Leap sensor with a virtual environment to create this installation. He wrote code to give instructions to the particles that move and bounce in the space as well as respond to your hand. Inspired by plasma globes, the project experiments with game environments and sensors.