Expedition VRctica

Utilizing Public Library Systems To Engage Rural and Latinx Communities in Polar Research
Week 33, South Pole, Panorama Wrap
Week 15, Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory, South Pole Station, Antarctica
Week 12, Sunset, Ceremonial Pole, flags, South Pole
Aurora Australis and meteor, Week 31, Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory, South Pole Station, Antarctica


Expedition VRctica will work with rural librarians, bilingual science communicators, polar scientists and a technical team to create a series of five bilingual virtual reality (VR) experiences, engaging users as polar explorers of exotic and extreme environments to enhance STEM understanding and appreciation. The project will create a new channel for disseminating polar science, working first with underserved rural Latinx communities in Wisconsin to create a new network between rural communities and university researchers. Involving rural librarians in the co-design process will produce new ways for rural libraries to engage their local communities and their growing Latinx populations with polar science learning experiences. Each of the five VR experiences will focus on a different area of research, using the captivating Arctic and Antarctic environments as a central theme to convey science. VR is a particularly powerful and apt approach, making it possible to visit places that most cannot experience first-hand while also learning about the wide-range of significant research taking place in polar regions. After design, prototyping and testing are finished, the VR experiences will be freely available for use nationally in both rural and urban settings. 

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