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“We want to see if VR can improve students’ understanding of plant cells” said Karina Price, from PEB and the University of Western Australia, who has led the project.
Students often have difficulty learning the structure and function of plant cells as their size means they can’t be directly observed.
By providing an immersive visual, auditory and spatial learning environment, VR allows for experiential learning inside of “worlds” that can’t be viewed in reality.
With VPC, a student can move across the inside surface of a plant cell membrane, help a chloroplast to photosynthesise, and can watch as DNA moves around them in the nucleus.
“We’re capitalising on the novelty and immersion of VR to enhance learning experiences” “We believe that educational virtual reality being used at this sort of scale in a classroom setting, is an unprecedented move” The Virtual Plant Cell is PEB’s custom-built suite of educational VR experiences.
“It might just be the difference between having a cool spring or a warm spring.” But Prof.
Millar said being able to understand the mechanism inside wheat cells that is behind the 2000-year-old agricultural advice offered new hope to farmers.
“The Romans knew the problem but they didn’t have any way to try and find a solution, other than to drain the field” he said.
The project is pioneering the use of VR technology for comprehensive, curriculum-aligned education.
“With VPC, we want to capitalise on new technology to make learning science exciting, engaging and effective.
as part of an exciting partnership between the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB) and Trinity College, Perth.