Salford showcases GameLab virtual reality experience at New Scientist Live
The University of Salford took part in New Scientist Live (March 12-14), a three day science event held at Manchester Central Convention Centre where it revealed GameLab, its own virtual reality experience.
New Scientist Live is a festival of ideas and scientific theories featuring interactive experiences, workshops, and guest speakers and is open to the public. The annual event returned this year in a hybrid format and saw more than 9,000 visitors in attendance, with 40 speakers delivering talks across four stages.
The University was one of 30 exhibitors which participated in the event, showcasing its GameLab technology, which has been developed exclusively at Salford. With the help of over 60 student volunteers, the unique experience was brought to life for attendees at the event. GameLab is a fascinating series of virtual reality experiences covering health, nature, creativity and science & industry, where users have the opportunity to learn about digital wellness in the face of an impending metaverse.
Academics at Salford have been experimenting with immersive technologies for over five years with GameLab highlighting the best in virtual reality experiences, science-led gaming, and immersive environments to inspire a new generation to learn through innovation.
Professor Andy Miah, Chair in Science Communication & Future Media at The University of Salford and Academic Lead for the event, said: “We are very excited to be a part of this inaugural event and to bring the latest in science, technology, and innovation to the public. On the Schools’ Day, we really hope to engage the next generation on how fun and inspiring it can be to seek out the wonders that innovation offers.”
Attendees at the event also had the chance to try out a variety of VR games, including the Blue Planet experience (showing powerful scenic and cultural heritage locations from across the world), the Ocean Rift experience (the world’s first VR aquatic safari park) and the Star Chart experience (a view of the solar system).
The event was an overwhelming success, with visitors keen to wait up to an hour for a chance to experience one of the 12 virtual reality experiences on offer. The University of Salford also welcomed Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham to its exhibit.
Alongside the GameLab experience, Salford colleagues and students also took to the Engage Stage to discuss a range of topics that provided Key Stage 2-4 students with the opportunity to extend their learning around the STEM subjects beyond the classroom and bring many areas of their study to life.
Professor Joe Sweeney, the Dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Environment at the University of Salford, delivered a talk about his time working in STEM and being the first person in his family to go to university. Dr Chloe James, Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology also spoke about her research that helps to protect us from viruses and bacteria as a Medical Microbiologist.
In addition, final year PhD Energy and Climate Change Policy Researcher, Ibukun Adeniyi had the chance to talk about her career in STEM and the work she has undertaken on investigating heating systems that are low carbon and help mitigate climate change.
To discover more about how we are experimenting with the GameLab technology at the University visit our virtual reality campus, click here.
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