Ph.D., US History/Public History, Florida State Univ.
Dr. Walters is working with IST’s Media Convergence Laboratory, the lab’s experiential learning researcher Eileen Smith, and Michelle Adams from the History Department to recreate historic settings in a virtual environment. The initial project set its sites on simulating a historic treasure in UCF’s own backyard – Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Shadows of Canaveral is a 3-dimensional interactive journey into historic moments at the Cape. In phase one, John Glenn's historic February 1962 flight was simulated. The educational experience takes visitors through Cape Canaveral circa 1962 – with stops at Mercury Mission Control, Hangar S, and Launch Complex 14. Each site is recreated with great detail and visitors can interact with pad workers to understand the operation of the sites and the contribution of all aerospace workers to the success of a mission.
Phase two returns visitors to 1950 Cape Canaveral to witness the first launch from the Cape, Bumper 8, and incorporates pre-rocket Cape history with a recreation of the historic Cape Canaveral Lighthouse complex. Both phases have been supported with State of Florida, Bureau of Historic Preservation grants.
Our current project centers on the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows. Last of the great World’s Fairs held in the United States, the '64/65 NYWF is a microcosm of events that formed the 1960s. Our goal is to recreate not only the vast fairgrounds and myriad of pavilions through virtual technology, but to immerse visitors in the social and political scene of the mid 1960s. Come Back to the Fair will use the OGRE game engine to provide visitors a full exploration of our virtual 1964/65 New York World’s Fair. The project is the recipient of a Digital Humanities Initiative Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and an Informal Science Education Grant from the National Science Foundation.
Visit the project on the web at www.ucfvirtualheritage.org