Seventh and eighth grade students will use photogrammetry to create three-dimensional images of artifacts ranging from 160 to 190 years old at Fort Vancouver
VANCOUVER — The past, present and future will once again collide in a virtual reality experience through a partnership between the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and Vancouver iTech Preparatory.
Seventh- and eighth-grade students from the school are for the second time working to highlight the park’s resources and artifacts using digital technology through a program known as Fort Vancouver Virtual Reality, otherwise known as FVvr and pronounced “fever.”
Working with teachers and rangers, students in the school’s Washington State History and Introduction to Computer Science classes are being assisted by curators, archaeologists and interpreters in creating an interactive virtual museum.
The students are using photogrammetry to create three-dimensional digital scans of artifacts recovered during archaeological excavations at the site. The items all date back to Fort Vancouver’s original period, ranging from 160 to 190 years ago.
“Students are then analyzing the artifacts, using archaeological thinking and concepts to create audio that highlights the artifacts to inform the public about the history and culture of the national park,” according to a press release. “The digital museum will combine the 3D artifacts and audio analysis, and be a searchable database. The apps will also use the digital artifacts, but they are being designed so that people of various learning levels will be able to interact with the fort in many different ways on their tablet or smartphone. “
Students involved in the project sought to answer three questions posed by the National Park Service as it enters its second century of existence:
- What is a museum, and how can we leverage new technology so that audiences can interact with the fort in new ways?
- How can we serve our community, and the world, by sharing our nationally significant history in the digital age?
- How can we better reach those, near and far, who want to learn more about this national park?
This is the second such partnership between the historic site and Vancouver iTech Preparatory Middle School. The last virtual reality tour of Fort Vancouver was completed by students in 2016.
This project is being led by iTech teachers John Zingale and Cyndy Hagin, who are supported by their principal Darby Meade along with National Park Service staff Theresa Langford and Bob Cromwell.
FVvr will be showcased on Sat., May 12.