Professor Tech hosts National Science Week activity on the Gold Coast

23 August 2021

Walking alongside 3D digital dinosaurs' exploring the solar system through holographic planets and daringly walking along a virtual reality plank 80 stories above the ground – these were just some of the experiences that participants enjoyed as part of a National Science Week (NSWk) activity on the Gold Coast last weekend.

Hosted by Professor Tech' also known as CQUniversity Associate Professor of Information and Communication Technology Dr Michael Cowling' the Professor Tech – Introduction to Awesome (Extended Reality) saw participants' from primary school students to grown up members of the ICT community' get techy as part of NSWk.

NSWk is Australia's annual opportunity to meet scientists' discuss the hot topics' do science and celebrate its cultural and economic impact on society.

First held in 1997' NSWk has become one of Australia's largest festivals.

Last year about 1.1 million people participated in more than 1200 events' despite a global pandemic.

'I've done outreach to teachers before' but this event was our first Professor Tech event for the community. I'm glad that COVID-19 restrictions eased and we were able to run it' as I've been really looking forward to engaging with the Gold Coast community at this impressive TAFE space in Coomera'' Dr Cowling said.

"This was a great chance for people of all ages to experience virtual' augmented and mixed reality' collectively known as extended reality' and see what all the fuss is about.

'We also featured Richie's Plank Experience' an app that was developed by local Gold Coast developer Toast VR' which challenged users to walk a virtual plank off the side of a building 80 stories above the ground. I was particularly impressed by the courage of Gold Coasters' let's see if the rest of Queensland can live up to this effort."

Professor Tech will be touring regional and rural Queensland throughout 2021 as part of the Queensland Flying Scientist program' including World Science Festival Gladstone from August 28-30.