Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) has partnered with The Nerdery to be part of its May 17 Third Thursday event, again rebranding this occasion as “Nerd Thursday,” just as they did last April. Again, several Nerdery employees are collaborating with Mia to give museum guests a Willy-Wonka-like technology experience – a world of pure imagination – but instead of Oompa Loompas, visitors will mingle with Nerds who’ve co-curated these digital experiences for Mia’s Nerd Thursday:
HoloTower – This is Not Your Father’s Jenga: Interact with and demo the Microsoft HoloLens – and use it for gamified block stacking. This experience involves creating a virtual tower using mixed reality (MR), which combines elements of virtual reality and augmented reality together.
VeeR Pong: The Nerdery’s version of beer pong can be played without actual beer and ping-pong balls thanks to HTC VIVE and the curiosity of Nerds who created this VR experience just for the fun of it. Any explanation of playing beer pong in virtual reality doesn’t do justice to the actual experience, so try it for yourself.
Mixed Reality Portal: Step through a portal and encounter a different world. Inspired by the utopian poem “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace,” three Nerdery coworkers decided to adapt it into an immersive virtual experience. Drawing on one Nerd’s childhood experiences in South Africa and interest in Afrofuturism, the team explored creating a visually striking world where technology doesn’t look like the phone in your pocket. As you walk through this space, its creators hope you’ll reflect on the future we’re building together. This is the first public demo of their augmented reality app, which is in progress; they invite your feedback.
Woodwork Nerd at Play: At this exhibit you’ll meet a Software Engineer who’s a .NET Nerd at The Nerdery, but in his free time he’s also a nerd about woodworking. See how he’s leveled-up his craft by mixing code with power tools.
3D Printing and the Innovation Lab: Already recognized in Minne Inno’s 50 On Fire list, Nerds take parts of their Innovation Lab on the road to Mia, bringing the 3D printer for show-and-tell. This exhibit also includes a dice game created by 3D printer and looping video on other passion projects created by Nerds at The Nerdery.
Pentathanerd: The Olympics has the Decathlon; The Nerdery has Pentathanerd. For Pentathanerd’s weeklong winter and summer games, Nerds create five nerderized competitions and battle for Pentathanerd gold (bragging rights and a trophy made of Legos). Mia guests can play for the ultimate prize: fun. And, Pentathanerd t-shirts. Looping video highlights the 2018 Pentathanerd winter games.
Aspiring Nerds, Competitive Robotics: Representing the next-generation of nerds, Bloomington’s (Nerdery-sponsored) Anonobots team of elementary and middle school students are a Minnesota State Championship team, and have competed at the World Championship FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League (FLL) Competition. Also, the Ponytail Posse, an all-female high school robotics team from Shoreview, competed in FIRST Tech Challenge this year and won the top award in Minnesota, the Inspire award. Both teams love to help new teams get started, and to mentor teams. Stop by to see what the program is about, and to see their robots in action.
The Art of Onboarding – Meet the Newbs: The Nerdery makes an art form of introducing new employees to their fellow Nerds through the Meet the Newbs video series. Looping for Nerd Thursday are four recent films: Newbotage; Snow Day; Nerdery vs. Jockery; and Golden Walk.
Mia’s Third Thursday is a free event from 6-9 p.m. that typically draws about a thousand visitors. More information on Nerd Thursday activities can be found on Mia’s Facebook page.