Exploring the Human Body Using Virtual and Augmented Realities

In Science, the Grade 5 students have been studying Human Organ Systems. This unit is designed to help students understand that the body is made up of a number of organs and that these organs are parts of systems that can be affected by a variety of factors.

Teachers have been using models and simulations in class, to help their students learn the location, structure, and function of the major organs of the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems.

In the Learning Commons, staff and students have been consolidating and applying their new learnings thanks to virtual and augmented realities. This enhanced way of learning has lead to many new discoveries, as well as a plethora of “ooohhhs” and “aahhhs”!

Using Mazo’s Virtual Reality Goggles, students were asked to identify the “mystery” systems, and justify their choices: what did you see? Describe your “journey”.

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In one scenario, students whooshed themselves through the digestive system: a computer-generated recreation, including real life stomach, intestine and colon immersion. Students were made to feel like they were experiencing the simulated reality firsthand by stimulating their vision and hearing. Curious as to where the content was pulled from? Mystery System #1 – Playlist (YouTube).

Augmented Reality made its appearance thanks to Virtuali-Tees by Curioscope. The tee, when combined with a FREE app, brings anatomy to life as the user is literally teleported inside the body. Augmented Reality works through computer-generated layering. These enhancements atop existing reality make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. The Virtuali-Tee allowed students to literally jump into the pumping heart, dive into the bloodstream, and see everything for themselves. The fully animated 3D images helped students truly understand how the major systems work, and how they complement one-another.

Needless to say, these were experiences that won’t soon be forgotten!

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