Children enjoy spooky science in Halloween spectacular
November 2 2013
Families enjoyed a spook-tacular day at Glyndŵr University thanks to an innovative computing student.
Rhys Owen developed an eerie and educational environment in Techniquest Glyndŵr’s learning dome for children and parents visiting the Wrexham site on Halloween.
Rhys, a 28-year-old student in Creative Media Computing, produced a scary scene that went down a treat with the youngsters, especially brothers Ryan and Aaron Evans, aged seven and four.
And to reinforce the creepy scenario – which included images from graveyards, with dark skies and clouds - Techniquest Glyndŵr presenter Charlotte Wyatt dressed up as a witch and delivered a ghostly tale for all in attendance.
“It was really scary but it was brilliant,” said Aaron.
“We really liked it and can’t wait to go back again.”
Rhys said the design took just one week to complete after he came up with the concept.
“Once we put the idea together I came up with different images and suggestions. From then on it was done within a matter of days,” he said.
“This is all part of my course and the overall research being conducted in and around the immersive learning environment – it’s been very interesting and really cool putting this together.
“I’m delighted they enjoyed it today, especially the children.”
Techniquest Glyndŵr presenter Cerian Farrant said the learning bubble proved a big hit with visitors over the half-term holidays.
“We brought the dome over to Glyndŵr University to make it more accessible to schools and families during the holidays,” said Cerian.
“At the weekends it’s been the story-dome, a planetarium that the children absolutely loved, complete with spooky stories and pictures.
“With Charlotte dressing-up and really getting into character it’s got everyone into the Halloween spirit.”
The cutting edge learning dome is one of many ground-breaking new techniques used on different courses at the Wrexham institution.
The Computing department with the support of Health, Psychology and the Television and Digital Media course leaders have come up with a variety of ways to utilise the trailblazing facility.
Nathan Roberts, a Senior Lecturer in Computing, has developed dozens of ideas that will allow students from across the University to see, touch, hear and even smell while they’re in the dome using technology, smoke, sound waves and a ‘smell emitter’.
They could even feel like they’re moving around the interior of the dome thanks to an omnidirectional treadmill.
“Techniquest Glyndŵr has been very kind in letting us use the learning dome. We wanted to bring a more innovative approach to education and do that in partnership with other departments so we can all get the best out of it,” said Nathan.
“We are constantly coming up with new environments to make the best of the space. The technology is a huge draw, especially for Computing students, but could add value to every department here at Glyndŵr University.”
He added: “As part of the courses in Computing we promote and encourage students to get involved with public projects which provide an avenue of utilising their skills with real-world application as well as promoting future links.
"On this occasion, and with my support, Rhys developed a 360 degree spooky environment which formed the backdrop in the dome.
"We’re all thrilled the families enjoyed themselves, and that we didn’t scare them too much!"