Sudbury Catholic District School Board
May 10, 2007

St. John Catholic School Students Help Launch Science North’s New WebCast Technology

Students from St. John Catholic School were at Science North Monday to participate in the unveiling of the latest in webcasting technology and to hear Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Mr. Rick Bartolucci announce a $90,000 investment by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism in the project. The funding is part of the province’s Celebrate Ontario initiative, a one-time $4-million project that will help renew and revitalize the province’s existing festivals and events, with the goal of helping organizations enhance their products by creating new experiences to attract residents and visitors to Ontario.

“The Ontario government is a proud supporter of local festivals, events and attractions that boost tourism in all four seasons,” said Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci. “Supporting such events provides an economic boost to our area, and a memorable experience for our visitors.”

With the grant, Science North has created a webstudio that will reside in the Sudbury facility, and will ‘broadcast” over the internet to a travelling webstudio. The first stop for the travelling studio will be the Polar Bear Habitat in Cochrane, where Science North has installed exhibits that are complementary to its current special exhibition – Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins.

Science North and the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat will collaborate to create programming related to the Ends of the Earth polar exhibition and to the exhibits at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat. The programs, some involving live Arctic and Antarctic animals on loan to Science North from other institutions such as the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, will be broadcast in real-time over the internet to enhance the visitor experience at both facilities and attract more visitors over the summer season. The portable webcasting studio will be installed at the Habitat in the next few weeks, and stay at the Polar Bear Habitat until September 3, 2007, when a new location will be chosen.

Technically, the two studios will be outfitted in a similar way, although the webstudio at Science North will have a little more power, including the ability to control the cameras and equipment in the mobile studio. Each will have two cameras, lighting gear, audio equipment, and A/V switchers, all linked to powerful servers designed to send the signal out through the web effectively and efficiently. Any communication from one facility to the other can be made available on the web in real-time, or recorded and made available at a later date. Both web studios are suitable for webcasting and for video conferencing.

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