Virtual Reality a Hit in Science Class


Alex Gaines

Eighth graders can now experience the majesty of the Grand Canyon from the comfort of their classrooms.

Dylan O'Brien, Staff Writer

Instead of just reading about the Grand Canyon, you go see it.

Sort of.

The 8th grade science classes are using VR goggles to study the Grand Canyon, and it is a hit.

“I enjoyed it, and I would recommend it,” said 8th grader Max Rownin from purple pod. Other years, they would have you read about the Grand Canyon and take notes. Now you view and experience it. But what is this “VR”?

VR stands for “virtual reality” and the dictionary defines it as “the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.”

So in other words, VR is using a computer to see the world differently.

According to the Franklin Institute, VR started back in the 1960s with the Sensorama motorcycle simulator.

The Westport school district has bought a set of educational VR kits called Google Expeditions️. It is a 3D viewing experience, and it comes in a kit in the form of goggles. The way it works in our district is that you sign up for a certain amount of time, and you get it. There is some dispute between who gets it during certain times. Students and teachers want more of the units for classes. An example of this conflict is when the blue pod signed up for the kit and Greens Farms Elementary School received it instead.

Dr. Cortright, science teacher for the purple pod says that “It is not what most modern kids would call ‘VR.’ It is more of a 3D viewing experience.”
Although it isn’t what most modern kids would call VR, it is still a big hit.