College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ITS helps bring Smithsonian Folklife Festival exhibit to life

Iowa State University will be participating in this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D. C., during the last week of June and the first week of July. One festival theme this year is “Campus and Community: Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA”.

One of the university’s two proposals for exhibits was selected to be part of the festival. “Transforming Communities: Design in Action” is being created by a team of faculty, staff and students. ITS staff and a student team are providing the technical assistance to help bring the exhibit to life.

The exhibit will showcase the role design plays in the mission of the land-grant university as well as the impact ISU Extension and Outreach has on Iowa communities. The exhibit stands ten feet tall and spans 26 feet across, with a 180 degree LED video curtain in the center column and a circular, ribbon-board LED crawl screen, similar to a stock-ticker, at the top. Also included in the exhibit are interactive touchscreen monitors connected to web-based programs, numerous additional video monitors, whiteboards and movable wall panels.

With the vast array of technology involved in the exhibit, developing a system capable of driving and controlling the various elements was the first hurdle to tackle. ITS staff member Mike Wilson from the Academic Technologies team was assigned as part of the team. As the project came into focus, Chris Van Oort, senior in Software Engineering, was also asked to join the effort to provide programming services.

Read more about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the CoE student’s involved, here.