The University of Maine’s Center for Student Involvement (CSI) has been working to make sure students are getting the most out of their time at home. UMaine students and faculty now have dozens of resources at their disposal to help cure the quarantine blues. One newly added section of the CSI website set up during the pandemic has been the addition of a virtual tours and activities page.
With eight categories and hundreds of websites to choose from, students can access the site and browse all of the virtual links that are available for free. Each category focuses on a different aspect of entertainment or a theme, and they range from family fun to exercise and do-it-yourself home project videos. You can pick from the categories of Virtual Trips, Sightseeing, Events, Fitness, Fun, Animals, Disney World and Fan Picks.
Want to see a Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait? Visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s virtual tour from your own couch or bed via the CSI webpage link. Studying Socrates in a philosophy course this semester? Check out the museum’s own photo of Jacques-Louis David’s painting, “The Death of Socrates” just by clicking a few keys. With thousands of pieces of artwork on display, the museum makes sure to capture the essence of every single piece in their collection. The best part of it all is being able to view these paintings and pieces of art for free, without leaving the house.
Similar to many of the other museum virtual tours on the CSI website, The MET virtual tour allows viewers to sort the pieces of art by category, and arrange them by popularity, chronology, time or materials used. If fans want the full viewing experience, they can also take a 3D virtual tour of the building and examine each painting as they “walk” through the floors of the MET. The tour covers almost every surface of the museum and includes arrows and foot markings for easy navigation.
Along with taking virtual tours of museums and places all around the globe, students also have the option to take virtual tours of historic landmarks and sights. The Great Wall of China, Pompeii, Ellis Island and Yellowstone are all tour options available under the section “Sightseeing.” Pompeii’s tour includes a brightly lit virtual outdoor experience along with a helpful guide map at the bottom of the screen and real photos of tourists walking around the area. Virtual visitors have the option to zoom in and out of the screen, change the format or direction and see a Google Earth or Google Maps view of the location.
Another aspect of the CSI website that students have access to is the Virtual Disney World section of the website links. Students can click on a list of rides and view the ride in motion on YouTube. Although trips to Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort have been few and far in between these past six months, CSI gives students the ability to escape from the confines of student life and get a glimpse of the theme park rides that have been missed. The list of rides includes many popular Disney classics such as Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight and Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The list of videos also includes two newer rides that have only been open to the public for a few months: Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the even newer Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Each video was recorded by avid theme park goers and reviewers and can lead you to an even bigger list of rides to see.
CSI updates and adds new links to the site often, and is always open to hearing suggestions for things to include or add to the growing list. To visit one of these virtual sites or to see what else the CSI site has to offer, please visit https://umaine.edu/studentinvolvement/virtual/.