On day one we met up with the students from Farmingdale State College New York. We were given a brief introduction to the project. We travelled by minibus to The Kelpies near Stirling to allow the visiting students to see the landmark. We ate our lunch there which meant that we had a bit of time to explore and gave us time to get to know each other.
We then travelled up to Stirling to the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. Having arrived a bit early we had the opportunity to try on some replica uniforms and hold replica weapons. This gave us insight into how heavy the armour was as well as allowing us to explore how the shields felt and how little protection they would have offered. We then went on the interactive tour. This began with two short videos each from the differing perspectives of the Scottish and the English. This helps to give you insight into the battle. The videos were in 3D and we were encouraged to stand as close to the screen as possible to allow the 3D to create more of an impact to the viewer.
We then moved onto a room that explained what happened in the battle. There was an interesting way of interacting with the video. You were encouraged to “catch” arrows that were being shot by the virtual people. This offered an incentive reward of a free ice-cream from the cafe. After this video we were able to explore the rest of the room. There were interactive videos along the sides of the room that allowed you to find out more information on some of the people who fought in the battle as well as some normal people from each nation. These were activated by standing on a “plate” on the floor which would cause the video to respond to your presence. You chose from bits of dialogue by using a motion sensor detecting arm movements.
We then moved into the “Battle Room” which allowed us to see a holographic representation of the battle on a board that had been crafted into a map. This showed the scale of the area in which the battle covered as well as the strategies each side used. We were then able to fight the battle to see if we could reverse the fortunes of the battle. We were split into the Scottish and the English with the English having many more people, as it was in the actual battle. We had to take turns to move each regiment our respective sides into position. These positions were controlled by the main computer-like machine that the guide was using. The Scottish army found that it was rather difficult to navigate and therefore made some bad calls meaning that the English won our version of the battle.
There was another video similar to the introduction to give a brief insight into what life was like after the battle and how the battle changed the monarchy in both Scotland and England.
We saw the monument to commemorate as well as the statue of Robert the Bruce on his horse.
We travelled back to Edinburgh ‘the scenic route’ so that the US students could see the bridges. This however was a bit futile as they has all fallen asleep because jet lag had begun to kick in.