A 21st Century Education Grant from The Success Foundation has provided kindergartners at Martinez Elementary with Virtual Reality Goggles. Nearly 100 kindergartners have experienced Virtual Reality through Project Based Learning this year. Their teacher, Danielle Switzer, said, “The glasses are allowing me to take my students somewhere, like space or the museum or the zoo to see things they have never seen before. We are able to do this together and have the shared experience, which is helping them communicate their learning with each other and transferring it to their writing and memory.” Her students do not have a lot of opportunity to travel outside of Greeley, and through Virtual Reality they are able to experience a world beyond the classroom.
While we were visiting, students were learning about bees. Danielle gave them a worksheet that had topics like what do they look like, what do they make, where do they live, etc. The students were using different scenes in virtual reality to look very closely at the bees, getting within inches of them. They were able to go into a hive, and were also able to get a close-up look at them pollinating. Students were in awe of the images and were eager to share with us what they were learning!