Friday, October 5, 2018
  Community, Science & Technology, Around Campus

By Amanda Taylor

 PHOTO GALLERY by Silver Salas

EDINBURG, TEXAS – School children from across the Rio Grande Valley got to walk with dinosaurs, swim with dolphins and take a walk on the moon, courtesy of the Augmented Reality Exhibit at the Fieldhouse on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus.

The exhibit – hosted by the UTRGV Office of Public Art in conjunction with this year’s Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology (HESTEC) Week STEM+ME Expo – uses unique 3D visuals and photorealistic characters to immerse students in a world of virtual reality and allowing them to touch the untouchable.

  • The exhibit will be moved to the UTRGV Visitor’s Center in Edinburg for HESTEC Community Day on Saturday, Oct. 6, and will be available to the public.

“This is about as close as you could possibly get to touching a dinosaur,” said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, UTRGV assistant vice president for Public Art. “We are here to inspire students in the Rio Grande Valley to seek the STEM fields, and this is a wonderful way to engage them, with this amazing technology.”
Students who visited HESTEC 2018 said the Augmented Reality Experience was exciting.

‘‘The dinosaurs, and all the things that kept popping out. And the rainstorm – it was really cool.
—Alan Lopez, sixth grader from St. Joseph Catholic School’’

“The dinosaurs, and all the things that kept popping out. And the rainstorm – it was really cool,” said Alan Lopez, a sixth grader from St. Joseph Catholic School in Edinburg.

Aside from the augmented reality exhibit, students were able to partake in a 3D Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Technology demo, hosted by the UTRGV Learning Center.

“Here, we are demonstrating our 3D Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality learning system,” said Dr. Michael Foster, associate director of the UTRGV Learning Center. “It basically allows a user to manipulate an object, such as a frog, in three dimensions. And as in the case of the frog, it’s completely dissectible.”

The program features 3D views into the dissections of other animals, and even includes a glimpse inside the human body. The program is available to UTRGV students inside the Learning Center.


The community will have the opportunity to walk with Augmented Reality dinosaurs or enjoy a rain shower without getting wet, during HESTEC’s Community Day, 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, on the UTRGV Edinburg Campus.

The exhibit will be available in the Visitor’s Center; admission is free.

HESTEC’s Community Day also will feature family friendly activities, food vendors, live entertainment by UTRGV faculty, and UTRGV Theatre productions such as “Peter and the Wolf,” which is set to start at 4 p.m. inside the Performing Arts Center in Edinburg.

The night’s entertainment will close with performances by Grammy award-winning group, Grupo Solido. For a complete list of entertainment or for more information, visit

Visitors interact with the Augmented Reality Experience and a variety of AR simulations.
More than 2,500 high school students from around the Rio Grande Valley visited the UTRGV Edinburg Campus for HESTEC Week 2018 and STEM+ME Expo at the Fieldhouse. Visitors can interact with the Augmented Reality Experience and a variety of AR simulations. Augmented Reality – which differs from virtual reality in that AR is not limited to a head-mounted display –can have additional benefits because of its flexibility. (UTRGV Photo by Silver Salas)


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.