An elementary school in Iowa started using virtual reality in their science classes to make science more interactive.
Using the Oculus Rift, the Buffalo Elementary School students used the headsets and tested out the virtual reality curriculum from VictoryVR, which recently launched the first installment of a virtual reality science curriculum. The curriculum was made for grades 5-8 and take the students on a virtual field trip across the solar system, gets microscopic into the water cycle, ocean life, and more! In one instance, it can also take students to a garbage barge as people clean the Ohio River near Louisville, KY – in effort in part to show the fragility of nature and the pollutants that get dumped into our streams and rivers if there is no environmental regulation.
Buffalo Elementary is the first school in the country to incorporate virtual reality into its curriculum appropriately called “Next Generation Science Standards.” So far, virtual reality is used in two of the 23 science units offered at the school.
A grant from the Bechtel Trust will finance the school’s use of the headsets for the upcoming half-decade and hopes to improve the following three facets of the classroom:
- Students are “transported” and immersed into the subject of study, thus increasing their engagement;
- Removes distractions and helps students focus on the lesson plan;
- Virtual reality can help the instructor explain a topic much easier by using interactive video and captivate the students’ interests.
Virtual reality holds a lot of potential and can help students in their pursuit of a higher education.
If you want to learn more about this amazing story, you can read the original Quad-City Times story by clicking on this link.