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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
Students Experience the Final Frontier

Dunbarton High School students use virtual and augmented reality to see space, dinosaurs, and more

​Grade 9 science teacher Christopher Vezeau takes his class on a virtual tour of the solar system.
Grade 9 science teacher Christopher Vezeau
takes his class on a virtual tour of the solar
system at Dunbarton High School.

"The Grade 9 science classes just finished covering outer space, so we thought this was a great way for them to experience what they just learned," says Karen Papadopoulos, Library Head at Dunbarton High School in Pickering.

On January 10th and 11th, eight Grade 9 science classes from Dunbarton HS spent one period using virtual and augmented reality technology. This meant they had the opportunity to explore the solar system, examine dinosaurs, microscopic organisms, and much more.

The tech gear was provided by the Pickering Public Library. Papadopoulos notes that Dunbarton HS has been in partnership with the local library for the past three years.

Teachers used iPads provided by the Pickering Public Library to guide students through virtual reality space exploration.
Teachers used iPads provided by the Pickering
Public Library to guide students through virtual reality space exploration.

Teachers led their students through a virtual reality experience of the solar system using the provided iPads and goggles. The teacher's iPad showed where in space each connected student was looking. Students could look at any planet of their choice, and teachers had the ability to direct students to a point-of-interest to view together.

"The teachers are using an app on the iPad to explore galaxies, stars, and planets with students," explains Shahin Dashtkian, Technology Outreach Specialist at the Pickering Public Library. He adds, "It's great because they're utilizing and leveraging technology that's useful in their development."


So close

C. Ferguson, E. Heeraman, and D. Zireva examined organisms, toured landmarks, and got up-close with dinosaurs using aug
Corey Ferguson, Ethan Heeraman, and Dylan Zireva examined organisms, toured landmarks, and got up-close with dinosaurs
using augmented reality technology.

Students experienced augmented reality through the iPads, getting an up-close and moving view of a variety of different things that are difficult, if not impossible, to see in "real life." Touring our solar system, zooming in on microscopic organisms, mingling with long-extinct dinosaurs, and visiting international landmarks is made possible with this technology.  

"It looks pretty real, and it's interesting to see all the different things while still learning," says Grade 9 student Corey Ferguson, who was looking at a close-up view of the Colosseum in Rome. 

Papadopoulos says they will be facilitating the experience for Grade 9 Science classes next semester, but this time the Grade 12 Earth and Space Science classes will be leading the event. 



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© Durham District School Board, 2013