Avatar Scientist Station

This interactive station bridges the real and virtual worlds to create a lively human interaction. An astrophysicist is beamed in from their home location and appears as an avatar on our large scale projection screen. Audience members come up to a ring light and webcam in front of the projection screen and ask them a question about the universe. The astrophysicist can see and interact with the audience member in the physical space at the event. A sound system broadcasts the conversation so spectators can experience the exchange. Participants are always surprised to find out its a real person and not just a cartoon character or AI robot and have fun having a deep conversation about dark matter with an Avatar. This popular station has been highly successful at encouraging participants to ask questions about the universe that they always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. We recruit scientists from around the world, and focus on local scientists to participate as avatars from the region where the festival is taking place. STEMarts Youth Ambassadors set up and run the Avatar tech station which includes working with Discord, OBS, Zoom and projectors, and facilitate the exchange between the Avatar scientist and the participants at the event.

Space Messengers is made possible in part by the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund for U.S. Alumni; an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Partners of the Americas. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts

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