Using virtual reality goggles in the classroom

Edward Teller once said, "The science of today is the technology of tomorrow."

In Science and Social Studies classes we face the challenging obstacle of not being able to explore and visit places or objects that are too far away, or too small. This can be anything from exploring what the sun is like, or the Great Wall in China. Or it could mean exploring something as small as a cell!

Using virtual reality goggles allows students to observe objects and places that are often too small or even out of this world.

Mrs. Sharlena Armand, and co-workers Terrilyn Darr and Michelin Bertin, wrote and applied for a grant through Ascension Fund. They were awarded a $2,500 school wide grant that will allow Prairieville Middle School students in all grade levels and classes to learn through virtual reality (VR).

Recently in science class, 8th grade students were able to explore how flowers are pollinated by bees using the VR goggles. The students were able view pollen, and flowers from the inside while even seeing the various insects and animals that aid in the pollination of common foods.

The students were extremely excited to do this, and hearing their "oohs," "ahhhh-look," and "whoas" made a fulfilling moment in the classroom!

One student even exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, the bee is right in my face! I feel like I can reach out and swat it!"

It was even better to see how well they learned about pollination through the use of the VR goggles on their quick check.

Funds for this grant were provided by Potash Corp., Geismar through the Ascension Fund. The Ascension Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Gonzales Rotary Club as an instrument for private sector leaders to invest directly in the work of individual teachers and schools through grants for innovative ideas and programs in Ascension Parish public schools.

Teacher Grants of $500 or $1,000 and School Impact Grants of $2,500 are awarded on an annual competitive basis. To date, the Ascension Fund has awarded approximately 1,250 grants representing over $1.5 million dollars in the school system.

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