School children from across the Rio Grande Valley got to walk with dinosaurs, swim with dolphins and take a walk on the moon, courtesy of the Augmented Reality Exhibit at the Fieldhouse on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus.

The exhibit – hosted by the UTRGV Office of Public Art in conjunction with this year’s Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week STEM+ME Expo – uses unique 3D visuals and photorealistic characters to immerse students in a world of virtual reality and allowing them to touch the untouchable.

· The exhibit will be moved to the UTRGV Visitor’s Center in Edinburg for HESTEC Community Day on Saturday, Oct. 6, and will be available to the public.

 

“This is about as close as you could possibly get to touching a dinosaur,” said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, UTRGV assistant vice president for Public Art. “We are here to inspire students in the Rio Grande Valley to seek the STEM fields, and this is a wonderful way to engage them, with this amazing technology.”

Students who visited HESTEC 2018 said the Augmented Reality Experience was exciting.

“The dinosaurs, and all the things that kept popping out. And the rainstorm – it was really cool,” said Alan Lopez, a sixth grader from St. Joseph Catholic School in Edinburg.

Aside from the augmented reality exhibit, students were able to partake in a 3D Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Technology demo, hosted by the UTRGV Learning Center.

“Here, we are demonstrating our 3D Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality learning system,” said Dr. Michael Foster, associate director of the UTRGV Learning Center. “It basically allows a user to manipulate an object, such as a frog, in three dimensions. And as in the case of the frog, it’s completely dissectible.”

The program features 3D views into the dissections of other animals, and even includes a glimpse inside the human body. The program is available to UTRGV students inside the Learning Center.

 

HESTEC COMMUNITY DAY

The community will have the opportunity to walk with Augmented Reality dinosaurs or enjoy a rain shower without getting wet, during HESTEC’s Community Day, 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus.

The exhibit will be available in the Visitor’s Center; admission is free.

HESTEC’s Community Day also will feature family friendly activities, food vendors, live entertainment by UTRGV faculty, and UTRGV Theatre productions such as “Peter and the Wolf,” which is set to start at 4 p.m. inside the Performing Arts Center in Edinburg.

The night’s entertainment will close with performances by Grammy award-winning group, Grupo Solido. For a complete list of entertainment or for more information, visit utrgv.edu/hestec.