Teaching with Technology Home » VIVE Demo the Centerpiece of LA County Fair Exhibit

The 2016 Los Angeles County Fair at the Pomona Fairgrounds featured a new exhibit designed to showcase products developed by ITDL’s 3D Modeling and Gamified Learning Team. Included as part of this year’s “Our Bodies” Exhibit, the team used the opportunity to introduce fairgoers a wide range of educational strategies and products, from printed 3D models, to drill and practice arcade games, to a fully immersive virtual reality experience using WesternU’s newly acquired VIVE VR system.

Visitors had a chance to experience full immersion VR using a demo developed by Educational Applications Designer Jeff Macalino. With help from Applications Developer Eissa Jamil, volunteers were equipped with a Vive headset and hand controllers, then oriented to the use of the hardware. Because participants would be completely disconnected from the outside world, instructions on how to navigate the virtual space also had to be provided.

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While in the virtual environment, participants could explore a gallery of virtual anatomical models. One of these models, based on scans of an actual human skull, could dragged, rotated, disassembled and reassembled. For the next 10 to 15 minutes, participants could use the controllers to take the skull apart, examine individual structures, and put it back together. They could even reposition a portable light source to view objects more clearly.

Outside of the Vive simulation area, a monitor provided a 2-D view of the virtual environment so that onlookers were able to see what the participants would see through the headset. To view a recorded excerpt from the demo click here.

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In addition to the Vive VR demo, visitors were also able to play a matching game designed to teach endocrine anatomy to Osteopathic medical students, and view a 3D printout in progress.

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A wide range of 3D printouts developed by 3D Visualization Specialist Gary Wisser was also on display for visitors to pick up and examine more closely. Guests were invited to handle the 3D prints of bones and other items, which was an appealing contrast to the “look, but don’t touch” rule when displaying real bones. They included smaller anatomical models built from a plastic material using a Makerbot Replicator, as well larger models created from layered photocopy paper using the larger Mcor Iris 3D full color printer.

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The exhibit, which was scheduled for Friday, September 9, was well attended given the modest $5 admission cost for the “Our Bodies” exhibit space. Participants and onlookers alike, including some of WesternU’s own students, were enthusiastic about the technologies showcased and their potential to improve teaching and learning in the medical curriculum.

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For information on the Vive VR System or demo, contact Jeff Macalino, Educational Applications Designer at jmacalino@westernu.edu.

 

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For information on 3D modeling and printing, contact Gary Wisser, 3D Visualization Specialist, at gwisser@gmail.com.

 

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