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Posted on Jul 16, 2019

Introducing science and technology through virtual reality

On June 29, teenagers had an opportunity to come to grips with reality; virtual reality, that is. Marlene Bell, STEM outreach coordinator for the North Central Regional Library system, brought in the computer and virtual reality scenarios for the day.
Programs such as these, which introduce science and technology to youth, are part of the NCRL summer repertoire. The idea is to provide these free experiences throughout the summer at the various NCRL libraries in the system. All of these summer events are part of a grant from the Washington State Library.
“We will be adding more, because the grant was extended,” Bell said.
Her job is to go all over the NCRL system and to serve Grant County specifically.

Crystal Godoy, left, tries out virtual reality goggles with Marlene Bell at the George Public Library.
Photo by Tammara Green/For the Post-Register


On the day of the VR experience, Bell explained that there was a waiver, because VR can affect people differently. Virtual reality experiences can change moods, which can be a positive thing in some scenarios, but on the other hand, some experiences may be a little too much for some. Virtual reality is not recommended for people with seizure disorders for example.
Bell presented several different experiences to the patrons of the library. One scenario involved turning into a giant bunny and meeting an alien. Another experience involved getting up close to a Tyrannosaurus rex.
“It was pretty fun,” said Crystal Godoy. “You got to wave at a robot in friendship.”
For more events to come this summer at either the George Public Library or the Quincy Public Library, go to ncrl.org.

By Tammara Green, For the Post-Register