A four-member team from CIVS, along with their display and virtual reality technologies and an entire digital portfolio of CIVS projects, were among an elite set of Purdue Northwest research and educational units selected to host a booth and represent PNW at the annual “Purdue Day,” held this year on Monday, Feb. 18, in the South Atrium of the Indiana Statehouse.
Along with envoys from Purdue Northwest’s College of Technology, College of Business, Nursing, and other programs, the CIVS team of Director Chenn Zhou, Research Engineers Tyamo Okosun (Simulation) and Kyle Toth (Visualization), and Senior Research Scientist John Moreland had numerous opportunities to interact with legislators, visiting school tour-groups, members of the public, and other exhibitors to highlight developments in education and research activities and describe their significance and value to Indiana … and beyond.
The Purdue campuses at West Lafayette, Hammond/Westville, and Fort Wayne all had multiple-booth “newest and best” representation and “many Master’s students,” noted Toth.
“We spoke with a lot of Master’s students from our own and other campuses in the morning,” Toth said, “and the afternoon saw a lot of Indiana state representatives and senators stop by. West Lafayette’s K-12 STEM Outreach unit also had VR [virtual reality], which they were using to explore ways to get kids interested in education, and particularly STEM fields. From our conversations with the Nursing people, it also sounds like virtual labs will definitely be a future direction for their program. Still, our history of expertise in VR, and our continued exploration of its applications, is keeping us on the cutting edge.”
“This event turned out to be a great opportunity to inform some lawmakers, especially from our region districts, of our Purdue Engineering and other Summer Camps,” Okosun noted. “Having the Summer Camps we do actually provided an opening to go into details about the importance of modeling to both industry and education—and why CIVS’s connections with industry are so important for experiential learning.”
“And for us as first-time Purdue Day exhibitors at the Statehouse,” Moreland said, “we want to recognize all the first-time, newly elected legislators who visited our booth—Tanya Pfaff, Beau Baird, Ragen Hatcher, Chris Chyung, Chris Campbell, and Rita Fleming. And longstanding Representative Woody Burton, who also gave us his card. We really appreciate all the legislators who stopped by to support our efforts and wish us well. Thank you.”