Matthew Faerber is the coordinator of the Visual World Investigate Lab at the Nature Research Center, the newest addition to the world-class North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. He has worked in the fields of ecology, GIS, isotopic analysis, computer programming, electronics, robotics, 3D modeling, museum exhibit design/construction and informal science education (among others). This page is about the lab he created and the projects he has worked on.
Climate Change Lab Class
A hands-on lab class, slated for Fall 2018, will compliment the current Climate Change Lecture class. This new lab class will teach, among other things, how mass spectrometry is performed and how it can deduce past climates by utlizing a 3D printed Mass Spectrometery Simulator of my design. Students will use the MS simulator to determine isotope weights and amounts in simulated ice core samples.
Cosmology + Astronomy Class
This new class will teach astronomy and cosmology using virtual reality and and hands-on lab activity. The presentation will be given in a traditional format, but students will have the option of donning a virtual reality headset in order to enter their own, personal planetarium utilizing code and models of my design. The activity will teach students how exoplanets are discovered and their atmospheres are analyzed using a DIY diffraction grating spectrometer built using 3D printed parts and attached to a computer for analyzing the resulting spectrum. A model star will be constructed using LED's that emit varying wavelengths, of which will be controlled via an Arduino to accurately adjust the wavelengths that pass through (technically around) a 3D printed model of an exoplanet.
Virtual Reality Headset v3.0
Currently finishing the design of what will possibly be the last version of my DIY virtual reality headset. The new and improved model is lighter, has adjustment knobs, and looks more like finished product over all. This headset will be incorporated into a new exhibit that allows users to not only look around a virtual space, but also walk through it by walking naturally, as the headset can track the user's position throughout the lab. The first program, which is about Mars and the Curiosity Rover, is complete. New programs covering different topics will be written so that there is at least one new one for each day of the week.