zSpace STEM Lab Breaks Down Barriers for Special Needs Students
SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 17, 2015 – On a typical day at Lee Mathson Middle School in East San Jose, California, students can explore the inside of a volcano via a three-dimensional, holographic image.
The Mathson students are just completing their first year learning with the zSpace STEM lab, which includes a set of student virtual reality stations and a teacher station, each outfitted with an interactive stylus as well as a wide variety of educational software ranging from science and physics to engineering. Virtual-holographic images can be “lifted” from the screen and manipulated with the stylus.
The impact of zSpace for students and teachers is exciting, particularly because many students using the system have special needs, and have experienced frustration learning in the traditional way. In addition, students at Mathson reflect the population of the larger Alum Rock Union Elementary School District, in which about three-quarters of students speak a language other than English at home, and more than 80 percent participate in the district’s free- and reduced-lunch program.
“Working with zSpace in the classroom makes it easier to address each student’s needs,” said Teacher Victor Guendulien. “They can work at their own pace, in their own language, and understand and explain concepts in their own words.”
With two or three students at each virtual reality desktop, students collaborate in teams and use critical thinking skills to solve complex challenges. They can perform highly engaging tasks that are often impossible in the real world, like exploring a volcano or experimenting with zero gravity.
Principal Oscar Leon sees zSpace as one way his students can break down barriers. Technology and other STEM programs at his school are opening new doors for Hispanic and Latino students to move towards more study and careers in technology and science.
Gisellle Postrado, a resource teacher, can see both the fascination of the students as well as their growing confidence. “They think, ‘wow, I can really do this,” she said.
Click here to see a video of the zSpace Virtual Reality STEM Lab at Alum Rock School District.
zSpace is a leading-edge technology provider that delivers a new way of learning with its flagship product, zSpace®. Focused on STEM education, medical instruction, and corporate training, zSpace inspires and accelerates understanding through real world virtual reality. zSpace was named “Cool Vendor” by Gartner, Inc. and awarded “Best New Product” by Tech and Learning Magazine. zSpace is a privately held, venture backed company located in Sunnyvale, California, and has filed more than 30 patents for its innovative technologies. For more information, visit www.zspace.com, or follow on Twitter @zSpace.