Some high school students have helped create a new exhibit at the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids.

It gives people a chance to see the realities of World War I through the eyes of a soldier.

The “Guts and Glory” exhibit was unveiled at a ribbon cutting and reception Friday night at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library.

The celebration also marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the former country of Czechoslovakia.

Metro High School students designed replica train cars in the exhibit and Iowa BIG students worked on a virtual reality experience.

“To know that teenagers partnered with the museum to pull off this experience is fabulous,” attendee Mary Ann Dilla said.

With a headset people can see what it was like through the eyes of a soldier on a bakery rail car.

“Incorporating virtual reality into a museum exhibition; it has not been done in the Midwest that we know about,” President and CEO of the museum Gail Naughton said.

One of the students behind the project says he was excited to be given the opportunity.

“They really put their reputation on the line by trusting highschoolers who knew nothing about what they were doing or what the museum was about to build a museum exhibit. I’m just really thankful to my whole team,” Iowa BIG student Isaac Miller said.

Saturday at 10 a.m. the museum is hosting a lecture with an author that wrote a book about what the exhibit is featuring, a group of Czech and Slovak soldiers stranded in Siberia.

The Guts and Glory exhibit will be on display until December 31. 

Such applications can be really helpful for the future of virtual museums. With the help of applications like this and Virtual Reality, people will be able view some of the events of the past, like they really took part in those events. If these applications contain elements of storytelling and gamification as well (which are studied alongside the presence field by the Thematic Area 4 of the ViMM project), they will offer a great virtual experience to the people, which will attract more people to the museums.