During one of the scenes of the Disney movie “Big Hero 6,” there is a part where the main character Hiro, is controlling his computer and programming Baymax, by just clicking images that are hanging in the air in front of his face. In today’s world, we are beginning to see this same type of technology being developed, which we call virtual reality. Virtual reality is a simulation created by a computer of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a real or physical way by a person using equipment such as ipads. Here at St. John’s, our 2nd graders have been using virtual learning to complete research on the Solar System.
In 2nd grade, we began our Solar System research by utilizing a Merge Cube and a Solar System app. The students would hold up the Merge Cube in front of the Ipads’ cameras and the cubes would transform into the Solar System. The students were given the task of going on a scavenger hunt to discover cool facts about the Solar System. With the cubes, the 2nd graders moved the Solar System around, and clicked on the planets displayed on the Ipad, to find out a variety of answers to the questions asked during the hunt. After exploring all the planets, each student was assigned one planet to study. They again used a virtual reality app that allowed them to see the solar system appear in the classroom. Students found their planet by moving the ipad around in a circle, touching the planet on the ipad, and then finding out facts about it. At the end of the project, the 2nd graders will take a picture of themselves holding their planets in their hands, using the virtual reality app.
All in all, virtual reality is no longer just found in the movies, but not can be an important tool to help students learn and explore the world and universe around them.
By: Mrs. Sarah Grack, Technology Teacher