On Tuesday, April 2, Paul Wylezol of Cabox Geopark and Eric Bourgeois of Saltbox Restaurant and Information Center brought the Geopark to Angela Lawrence’s Grade 3 class at St Peter’s Academy in Benoit’s Cove. With interpretive panels and PC in tow, they introduced the students to the region’s natural heritage and gave them the opportunity to view it in VR (virtual reality) from their classroom.
Cabox Geopark’s virtual reality program was produced during the recently completed Drifting Apart project, an EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme funded project which included partners in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Iceland, Russia and Canada. Its mission was to “unearth and strengthen our understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the fascinating and interconnected geological heritage of the Northern Periphery and Arctic region, and its many links to natural, built and cultural heritage.”
Each of the students got the opportunity to don the Oculus Rift headset to visit key sites around the Bay of Islands, Humber Valley and Trout River Pond, while the other students watched on the PC’s monitor.
Sites included Man In The Mountain, the Hummock behind Frenchman’s Cove, Blow Me Down Brook Falls, Cape Blow Me Down, Wee Ball, Tortoise Head, North Arm Hills and the Elephant overlooking Trout River Pond and the Tablelands.
Even Ms Lawrence braved the VR to take the tour …. and a ride a roller coaster!
According to the kids, “”it was so cool and realistic”, “so awesome and cool”, “incredible and interesting”, “so interesting and realistic”, “it looked really cool”. But don’t take their words for it. You can give the Cabox VR a try at Saltbox Restaurant and Information Center in Benoit’s Cove. It’s almost as cool as the beer and as good as the food!!