Indy students use virtual reality to learn in unique, hands-on way

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– An innovative mobile classroom made a stop in Indianapolis on Tuesday, allowing students to experience virtual reality learning.

The zSpace bus educates schools on how they can incorporate virtual reality into their lesson plans and curriculum.

Throughout the day, students at the McKenzie Career Center had a chance to try out the new technology.

“We’re just trying to help kids learn in new ways and get them ready for college and careers that they couldn’t do in the real world,” said Nick Pinchok, the regional sales director for zSpace.

zSpace allows students to use virtual reality technology in their classrooms and labs for STEM learning. Pinchok said the program started 11 years ago, as part of an initiative with the Department of Defense to create a non-head mounted virtual reality system.

During the school year, two zSpace buses travel the country so students can experience the technology.

Through zSpace, students can do virtual dissections, physics experiments and study math, creative arts, social studies and language arts hands-on.

“By bringing these models, experiments and labs into 3-dimensions they’re learning more completely, not just in a fun way, but in a real, experiential way,” said Pinchok.

Currently, about a dozen school corporations in Indiana are using zSpace. The McKenzie Career Center currently has six zSpace units and was one of the first Indiana schools to try out the technology. The school district is looking to expand by purchasing more units.

“It was really interesting,” said McKenzie Career Center student, Grace Buchanan. “It was ‘in your face’ in a good way and it was very hands-on. It was like being there without actually being there.”

To learn more about this virtual reality learning, click here.