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Paper: Accessible Virtual and Mixed Reality for Public Engagement
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 54
Authors: Bondell, J.; Myers, M.
Abstract: Immersive technologies such as virtual and mixed reality (VR and MR) offer promise when used for outreach and education delivery. In this interactive session we introduce developing and implementing highly successful virtual and mixed reality astronomy outreach programs. OzGrav, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, is dedicated to bringing inspiration to diverse audiences, developing multiple interactive virtual reality programs for public and schools engagement. We will highlight a free interactive VR smartphone app we developed to allow users to explore and interact with the universe, a guided VR group tour we use at public science festivals and schools, and an interactive mixed reality museum display we designed for introducing visitors to gravitational waves. We will highlight how these programs have been designed to be accessible to a diverse range of audiences when being used in conjunction with various face-to-face informal astronomy education settings. Participants will step through the different experiences and engage with outreach experts who develop the programs, discussing the choices made in both content and hardware to ensure the experiences are engaging, accessible, and cost-effective. By combining our experiences in scientific knowledge, cutting-edge visualisation, and meaningful patron engagement, this session will give participants the tools needed to thoughtfully explore immersive technologies for astronomy outreach.
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