The Action Lab introduces diverse life forms around the Lake Champlain basin through state-of-the-art technology to get visitors involved with the exhibits. The use of advanced 3D technology, live-capture video, and video playback provide new dynamic ways for visitors to get involved in the stewardship of the lake.
The ‘Shaping Watersheds’ station is an augmented reality sandbox that utilizes 3D technology to create a virtual watershed table. Visitors are encouraged to dig their hands into the sand to mold and build mountains, lakes and other landforms, and even induce virtual rain. The installation aims to show how the landscape is intrinsically intertwined with the water flow of the region.
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At the ‘Lake Expedition Station’, visitors are given a virtual tour of the 120-mile long Lake Champlain which includes some of its most beautiful locations, such as Fort Montgomery and Ausable Chasm, as well as exclusive insights into one of four underwater shipwrecks that is found in Burlington Bay. See real-time video streams of views from the lake and compare them with weather and seasonal changes at the waterfront. These moving images are captured using hi-speed video technology which allows visitors to control their viewing speed.
Before the Basin and Indigenous Expressions
Both of these exhibits delve into the lake’s earlier history from geological and anthropological points of view. Before the Basin explores the geologic history of the Champlain Valley. Tracing back millions of years ago, it describes the significant tectonic movements and glacial activities that took place hundreds and thousands of years resulting in the region’s topographic landscape today. Some of the evidence presented includes rock deposits and formations that are up to a few million years old and fossilized coral reefs, plants and animals. Visitors will get to touch a live sea star, which is similar to its ancient predecessor, as well as attempt to erode rocks.
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The Indigenous Expressions exhibit digs deep into the changes that have taken place in the relationship between human communities and their environment for several thousands of years. From the Paleo-Indians of the last Ice Age to the Abenaki and Mohawk people, the exhibit documents how these communities rely on and control their landscape and also how they are in turn constrained and limited by their surroundings. To enrich the exhibit, the center has partnered with Native American communities of the Lake Champlain Basin to showcase their photographs and audio files in the gallery. These displays provide first-person insights into the life, ways and cultural practices of these people, which provides greater context to the rich heritage of the region. Things to Do in Vermont: ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain - Photo:
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