Have you ever wanted to encounter a Virtual Reality 3D Experience of Australia’s own polar dinosaur? Well now you can at the National Wool Museum.
This exhibit showcases a polar dinosaur, who was the size of a wallaby, and some 106 million years ago, roamed the Victorian Otway Ranges, as well as the vast river valley that spread from Australia to Antarctica.
Brought together by the National Wool Museum, Deakin University, PrimeSci, and Museums Victoria, the Little L project aims to help blend the physical and digital world for the first time and create a ‘mixed reality’.
Within the exhibition, people will be able to interact with ‘Little L’ in virtual reality and will also be able to touch a 3D printed Leaellynasaura amicagraphica (Little L). This experience will be able to track peoples hand gestures, which will allow people to use their imagination and change the colour and texture of Little L’s skin.
Curated by Learning and Programs Officer of The National Wool Museum Marie Allaman, she explains the thinking behind bringing this technology to the museum.
“We want to try and find new ways to engage people within the museum and renew their experience. Here, you can use your full body and you are in an active experience; choosing colours, drawing from what you are already taught to create your own singular experience,” she says.
“As this is a little polar dinosaur from the area, it’s presenting a local heritage and a lot of people have no idea that we are very close to dig sights where a lot of fossils are found. It’s interesting to really see what people imagine from dinosaurs,” she continues. “We are very far away from Jurassic Park and T-rex, and even though it’s really small, this was one of the dinosaurs that was roaming the area and with virtual reality, you are going to be discovering this little dinosaur from your area.”
In line with International Women’s Day earlier this month, and the premise of women playing such a crucial role in the community, Allaman highlights how this particular project is lead majority by females in the field, explaining its significance in elevating the profiles of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“In museums, there’s generally a lot of female leaders in curatorships, but with this particular project, the science side has involved a lot of intelligent women,” Allaman explains. “In this engineering world, women are generally less represented, but in this project we’ve got two Deakin project leaders, the main palaeontologist, and even the dinosaur leading us all around is one of the few dinosaur named after female in the world, Leaellynasaura, named after the daughter of the palaeontologist.
“I think it’s great because it’s representing women in stem, in science technology and mechanics, which is great to have this presence of women to show diversity alongside men who are also involved in the project.”
This exhibition has been dubbed a ‘must see’ and has been running since mid-February and will continue to do so until Sunday the 15th of April and is your chance to participate in an exciting technology experience.
“The feedback has been exceptional and is from a full range of people, from kids to seniors to families to couples. Everyone visiting is really enjoying it so we are keen to imagine future possibilities. I think this has really shown that VR has its place in museums and that there’s a sense for it. It’s not just bringing technology for technologists; this is bringing new sense, new meanings and new experiences to people for the first time.”
It runs daily, from 9:30am – 5pm on weekdays, and 10am – 5pm on weekends. Prices start at just $5 for kids, $7 for concession, $9 for adults, and $30 for families (2 adults, and up to 4 children).