May 11, 2015 -
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.
About Equitable Life of Canada
Canadians have turned to Equitable Life since 1920 to protect what matters most. We work with independent advisors across Canada to offer individual insurance, savings and retirement and group benefits solutions to meet your needs.
But we’re not your typical financial services company. We have the knowledge, experience and ability to find solutions that work for you. We’re friendly, caring and interested in helping. And we’re owned by our participating policyholders, not shareholders. So we can focus on your interests and provide you with personalized service, security and wellbeing.
About the University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada’s most innovative university for 23 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit uwaterloo.ca.
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