Fourth and fifth grade students saw a glimpse of the future through a mobile classroom for virtual reality that stopped at their school.
At Doña Ana Elementary School a large bus featuring a dozen zSpace machines pulled into the school parking lot. zSpace machines are high tech virtual reality computers which utilize 3-D technology and glasses instead of goggles. Students use a stylus that has special sensors, and can see inside a jellyfish, examine a beating heart, dissect three-dimensional animals, and learn about volcanoes.
zSpace software has over 1300 models, including landmarks, sculptures, anatomy, spacecraft, vehicles, and plants. The virtual reality platform can be used to learn about physics, geography, astronomy, life science, social science, and more.
According to principal Cherie Love, experiences with virtual reality engage students in ways that textbooks cannot.
“When students are engaged in their learning, they retain the information better,” she said. “Having an exhibit like this come to the school, where they can see what they’ve been learning in the classroom in a 3-D, engaging, motivating way — every student who has come in today has been engaged from the moment they came in until the moment they left.”