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Students Try Newest Breakthrough in Educational Technology

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Sixth grade students from throughout Valley Stream District 30 were recently the first students in the nation to pilot Vroggo’s second generation virtual reality headsets to enhance their life science curriculum. The students visited the district’s 21st Century Learning Lab at Washington Avenue School where Vroggo, Inc.’s chief executive officer Leon DeMaille, chief technology officer Jeff dePascale and program director Erica Williams helped facilitate the launch of the program.
The sixth graders were highly engaged in the new immersive technology as it related to their science unit on cells. Dennis Carr, 21st Century Learning Lab teacher, ran the VR sessions for each sixth grade class who visited from Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road and Shaw Avenue schools. Carr presented a video about cells and educated the students on what cells are. The class was then split into two groups and rotated to learn more about what makes up a cell. The first group immersed themselves in a cell with the new VR headsets, while the other group participated in a hands-on craft where they created their own cell model.
After listening to Carr’s directions, the students eagerly put on their Vroggo second generation VR headsets and received a remote. Using a tablet, Carr was able to direct and track student progress during their VR experience. The sixth graders first learned about the parts of a cell with 3-D animations of a cell membrane, cytoplasm, mitochondria and nucleus. Using their remotes, each student took a virtual quiz on the content and then participated in an engaging VR game where they had to work together to power a mitochondria.
“I thought it was so amazing,” said Shaw Avenue sixth grader Natalie Cajal. “It was so awesome. I felt like I was actually in the cell and it felt so real. I learned a lot and I would definitely do it again.”
After they finished their mission, the students participated in another virtual quiz to see how much they learned from their journey.
“Valley Stream 30 students have been fortunate enough to be the first students in the nation to pilot 2nd Generation VR headsets in school,” said Administrative Director for 21st Century Learning Susan Rodriguez. “This hyper realistic way of experiencing life science is creating a passion not only for science but for learning in general. My hope is that this transformation propels students in Valley Stream 30 to new heights and creates opportunities for them that we are yet to imagine.”
The new VR headsets will remain in the 21st Century Learning Lab to enhance science lessons throughout the district.