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Home Life Style Innovative Educational Dome Teaches Yukon Youths About Mental Health and Substance Use
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Innovative Educational Dome Teaches Yukon Youths About Mental Health and Substance Use

In the heart of Yukon University’s gymnasium, a large dome offers a unique, hour-long educational experience aimed at enlightening young people about neuroscience, substance use, and the dangers of toxic drugs.

This project is a joint effort between Whitehorse’s IRP Consulting and Big Art of Calgary. IRP’s founder, Tosh Southwick, was inspired by Paul Magnuson’s passion for immersive experiences, which led to the dome’s introduction to the north.

Constructed entirely in Yukon, the dome features a musical acknowledgment of the land and showcases videos and images depicting local landscapes and communities.

Paul Magnuson, who is titled the “chief imagineer” at Big Art, explained that the dome consists of two main elements. It has a projection liner made of bright white fabric and a black-out cover which eliminates all outside light, enabling 360-degree projections inside the dome.

The audiovisuals within the dome are designed to transport participants into a vividly new environment, enhancing their engagement and understanding of the material presented.

Targeting youths aged 12 to 18, the dome addresses the challenges they face from peer pressure and the allure of experimenting with substances. It is currently accessible to school groups and attendees of the Yukon Youth Summit.

Magnuson highlighted the advantages of the immersive dome over traditional classroom settings, which might struggle to maintain student interest with straightforward scientific presentations.

The experience in the dome, while educational, is intentionally designed to be intense and thought-provoking. Southwick emphasized the importance of confronting young people with the harsh realities of drug use to prevent experimentation.

The dome will remain at Yukon University for the upcoming week, offering a powerful learning environment for its visitors.

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