The use case for mixed reality, a combination of augmented and virtual reality, in STEM courses is easy to make. Students of all ages can safely experiment with electrical currents. Dissections can take place without the worry of obtaining, storing and properly disposing of specimens. Physics experiments can take place in zero gravity. The possibilities are endless.
But what about using educational technology for multi-disciplinary projects? Purchasing an edtech product like mixed reality is a big investment, so it would be beneficial for educators to be able to use it in a wide range of subject areas.
A school in Houston plans to do just that. Killough Middle School in Alief Independent School District has a STEM Academy, “a school within a school” with a focus on science, engineering, technology and math. The school purchased zSpace mixed reality systems to enhance how students are able to learn STEM subjects. But the school quickly saw that mixed reality technology could be used in more than just STEM subjects.
As a way to expand the use of this technology, it will be integrated into multidisciplinary projects. Each student at the STEM Academy completes a PBL – a project-based learning assignment – and STEM Coordinator Errol Larkins is looking for ways they can use zSpace to enhance that process. The technology will also be available to teachers outside of the STEM Academy.
“zSpace draws people in and fosters questions. Instead of finding specific answers, it encourages students to discover and solve problems in creative ways. That’s the whole goal,” said Larkins. And that discovery and problem-solving can be used to foster student engagement in any subject area.
Download a full case study about how Killough Middle School incorporates STEM into a multi-disciplinary learning approach here.