Ancient artifacts meet digital technology at Langara College
Archeology instructor introduces 3D printing assignments while researching virtual reality and cultural heritage
By Lauren Vanderdeen
Virtual reality isn’t just for gamers — Cara Tremain, an archeology instructor at Langara College, is researching whether the technology has educational applications for studying heritage.
So far she’s found students “overwhelmingly” love learning with the new tech.
In her research study, students are digitally transported to 3D renderings of archeological sites all over the world.
It’s a new means to study an old discipline.
Mackenzie Galbraith is a history and anthropology student at Langara. She said there can be a stigma with arts degrees like history and anthropology. “Like, ‘Oh, what are you going to do with that?’” Galbraith said.
But using digital technology to study the past can add excitement and interest to a traditional subject.
“For other people, I just want them to understand that, hey, history is not as boring as people make it out to be, anthropology is not as boring as you make out to be,” she said.
“You think of old museums, you think books, you think all this other stuff. But there’s so much more freedom in studying anthropology and history. And you can try to look at anything that interests you.”
Tremain also assigns her archeology students to create 3D-printed models of artifacts. Florence Feng and Arthur Telesguilhon’s group chose to create a model of a bronze mask from Sanxingdui, China.
Watch the video to learn more about how digital technology connects students to cultural heritage.