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Hello from 0.5 of the Visual World Investigate Lab: The Basics

January 17, 2013

This is Walt Gurley, longtime lurker, first time blogger.  I’m an environmental scientist by training but on a continuing techie educational track.  I help run the Visual World Investigate Lab (VisLab), one of the three Investigate Labs of the Nature Research Center (NRC).  If you aren’t familiar with the lab, here are the basics:

The VisLab is located on the 3rd floor of the NRC and is open seven days a week from 10–4, with the exception of Thursdays (open 10–1) and Sundays (open 1–4).  The lab features twelve interactive computer stations where you can investigate science through cutting-edge augmented reality, 3-D exploration of the Solar System, protein folding, and many other rotating interactive programs.  In addition to these stations, we have monitors dedicated to topical scientific information and live HD viewing of microscopic organisms.  The lab also employs robotic technology, and we frequently have robotics demonstrations featuring our Arduino-based autonomous wheeled robot and our interactive humanoid robot.

So if you like computers, robots, or technology with your science, you’re going to love this place.  If you’re a Luddite and only like science, you’ll still love this place: we have some magnifying glasses and textbooks spread out through the lab for you to use while your friends or family enjoy the computers.

If you want to take it one step further, the VisLab currently offers a course on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) weekdays for school groups and courses on electronics and computer programming for the general public on Thursday nights.  Each of these courses is for beginners and delves a little deeper into some of the technologies that we use here in the lab and that are used by scientists around the world.  Check out the links for more information, we’d love to have you come and learn with us.

At any rate, come have fun and explore science in the Visual World Investigate Lab.


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