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Title: Virtual Access to STEM Careers: Two Preliminary Investigations
Virtual Access to STEM Careers (VASC) is a technology-rich, inquiry and problem-based curriculum designed to expose and stimulate student interest in marine, environmental, computer, and geological sciences. Intended for 3rd through 5th grade students, VASC builds academic momentum at the intermediate level to prepare students for STEM opportunities later in middle school and high school. Our program is aligned with “Next Generation Science Standards” and “Common Core State Standards” and immerses students in rigorous, high-interest learning modules where students are introduced to and take on the roles of different STEM occupations. We are specifically developing and testing virtual reality-based modules that place students in a coastal environment where they learn about the sea turtle life-cycle. Students also practice the types of measurements and conservation tasks that park rangers and marine scientists regularly perform. The investigations focused on the design of a user interface that meets the needs of students and their teachers. We collected feedback on user interface design and knowledge gained by the users from the simulation. Additionally, we compared two different virtual reality head-mounted displays; i) HTC Vive and ii) Oculus Quest 2, to identify the pros and cons of each technology in future classroom settings. Our investigations yielded valuable information about how instructions should be presented to users, how the interface should provide immediate feedback for user error, how surveys should be administered, what equipment is most efficient for transporting and setting up large scale experiments in schools, and what types of interactions students and teachers want to experience in VASC.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Chen, J.Y.C.; Fragomeni, G.
Publisher / Repository:
Springer, Cham
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Lecture notes in computer science
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
["Virtual reality\nHCI\nUsability testing\nK-12 STEM education"]
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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