World’s first 3D virtual reality tree-kangaroo could become reality

Published Monday, 15 May, 2017 at 08:45 AM

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

A far north Queensland group looking to develop the world’s first 3D virtual reality tree-kangaroo is among 28 new Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants recipients.

Science Minister Leeanne Enoch today (Monday) announced Atherton’s Tree-Kangaroo and Mammal Group was one of the ‘diverse and exciting’ recipients sharing almost $270,000 to increase STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills and engagement.

“Recipients include new science books and videos, marine protection projects, technology training, conferences and workshops, as well as a project to use art to communicate the importance of soils,” Ms Enoch said.

“The Tree-Kangaroo and Mammal Group in Atherton, Far North Queensland, will use its $10,000 grant to develop the world’s first 3D virtual reality tree-kangaroo.

“The group is working closely with James Cook University’s Information Technology Academy to develop the virtual reality tree-kangaroo, which will interact with school students and people attending science exhibitions.”

Tree-Kangaroo and Mammal Group member David Hudson said the funded 3D simulation project will build students’ understanding of conservation issues through the use of technology.

“Students will be able to immerse themselves in the 3D virtual reality environment of a tree-kangaroo character named Kimberley,” he said.

“The kangaroo’s virtual environment will help young people to learn more about how the study of science can help save our endangered species and their habitat.”

The Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants are designed to support scientists, researchers, science communicators, journalists, teachers and community groups to deliver science engagement and communication projects, events and activities that increase the profile of science in Queensland.

Queensland’s Chief Scientist Professor Suzanne Miller said the successful award applicants exemplified a commitment to bringing the most engaging activities to Queenslanders.

“Creative content that blends science, engineering or maths with technology has the best possible chance of guiding young people towards tertiary studies and a career using one or more of these four disciplines,” Professor Miller said.

Ms Enoch applauded the 28 recipient organisations for reaching out to the community to educate and involve Queenslanders in science activities.

“Our research tells us that Queenslanders want more science activities and events in their area,” she said. “These grants help those groups spread the word about the wonders of science, and the amazing work underway in Queensland.

“We know the jobs of the future rely on having a population with STEM skills, and it’s critical that we encourage Queensland school children and university applicants to study these subjects.”

For more information on Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants and the latest round of recipients, visit Advance Queensland

Round three applications close at 5pm on Friday 2 June, 2017.


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