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Science Fiction Becomes Reality as Thousands of Students Learn With Real World Virtual Reality

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Ed Tech Community Honors zSpace Virtual Reality Learning Environment With Top Awards and Recognition

CHICAGO –  March 12, 2015 – What just a few short years ago was only science fiction is now a reality in classrooms around the country as more than 15,000 students are learning in virtual reality environments from zSpace. Thousands of science teachers from around the country will have the opportunity to experience zSpace this week at the 2015 National Science Teachers Association Conference in Chicago. 

For example, at Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District in New York, students are learning about electricity and motor mechanics while others are building circuits in zSpace application, Franklin’s Lab. Joyce Thornton Barry, the district’s chairperson of Science, Research and Technology said, “Our sixth graders are using zSpace to create electricity boards that we would never be able to afford or let them create for safety reasons.” 

zSpace is transforming learning for these students. As Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Jill Gierasch said, “What I love about zSpace is the collaborative approach where two students, one with the stylus and one with the glasses can work on a lesson together to problem solve. Those inquiry skills are second to none with a device like this.”

Continuing, she said, "It's not often that I walk down a hallway and hear middle school girls positively chattering about the class they just attended using the zSpace tablets and how they wished they had more class time!”

zSpace CEO Paul Kellenberger said, “The creativity and collaboration that is happening Plainview-Old Bethpage is what we see whenever we walk into classrooms where students are learning with zSpace. Our virtual reality technology combined with creative teachers is changing the way that students think, learn and create.”

Over the past year, the ed tech community has also recognized the ways that zSpace is changing the game in education. The Silicon Valley company earned numerous top industry awards, including being named the Best Digital Device for Education in the 2015 Bett Awards; a Best New Product Award from 2014 Tech & Learning Magazine’s Awards of Excellence; and 2014 3D Education Product of the Year from the International 3D and Advanced Imaging Society. In addition, the information technology analyst group, Gartner, Inc., named zSpace Cool Vendor in Education for 2014.

The zSpace STEM Lab consists of 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. The system tracks head movements to provide the students with a realistic learning environment and a personalized learning experience that aligns to the Next Generation Science Standards. Virtual-holographic images can be “lifted” from the screen and manipulated with the stylus. Some applications provide multi-sensory feedback; for example, students working with a virtual heart can see it pumping as well as feel it beating.

Unlike head-mounted displays, made popular by Oculus Rift, students learning with zSpace wear trackable eyewear and collaborate in teams and use critical thinking skills to solve complex challenges on virtual reality desktops. Using zSpace, students can perform highly engaging tasks that are often too expensive and dangerous for the classroom. Students can even interact with virtual environments to discover concepts, such as troubleshooting a quadcopter to building a jet engine, in ways often impractical or impossible in the real world. 

Earlier this year, a Tech & Learning reviewer put zSpace to the test, commenting in a review in the August 2014 issue of the magazine, “zSpace has so many possibilities for the classroom—and it is just getting started.”

About zSpace
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, corporate training and research, zSpace inspires and accelerates understanding through immersive exploration. zSpace is a privately held, venture backed company located in Sunnyvale, CA, and has filed more than 30 patents for its innovative technologies. For more information, visit www.zspace.com, or follow on Twitter @zspace.

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