UVU Receives Funding for Mixed Reality Digital Media Program and STEM-related AR/VR Applications
Utah Valley University receives funding

UVU Receives Funding for Mixed Reality Digital Media Program and STEM-related AR/VR Applications

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Utah Valley University has received funding for its new mixed reality digital media program and to invest in finding STEM-related applications for virtual reality and augmented reality.

The grant, awarded by the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, will go towards UVU’s College of Engineering & Technology, which will focus on STEM-related applications and support the newly formed Mixed Reality and Simulation degree program, housed under UVU’s Department of Digital Media.

The grant includes Microsoft HoloLens 2 headsets, enabling the users to work with virtual objects within their physical space. Mixed reality amalgamates the physical and digital worlds as opposed to VR headsets that block out the physical world.

This initiative and degree program are led by the professors of digital media at UVU – Michael Harper, Marty Clayton, and Paul Cheney.

“The next decade of extended reality technologies will form the foundation of the next 100 years of our technology-based world,” said Harper. “Without the help of our partners like Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, we could not have accelerated our capabilities to meet these goals. We are extremely grateful for their help and vision as we create amazing opportunities to learn STEM and emerging technologies for our students.”

UVU previously offered a Mixed Reality Essentials pilot course last fall that it is renewing this year. It saw participation from about thirty students. The university further plans to introduce many such courses to high school students concurrently enrolled at UVU and mixed reality training programs for local high school teachers.

The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation is the philanthropic division of Rocky Mountain Power. The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation provides support and funding through grants to nonprofit organizations in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. It focuses on educational sectors, such as STEM, community enhancement, environmental respect, arts and culture, and safety and wellness. In 2021 alone, the foundation had released over $1.5 million in grants.

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