Students test virtual-reality physics classroom from home

Rising senior Madie Van Pelt enjoys making virtual contact with other participants as she learns the ins and outs of her equipment.
The Van Pelt home becomes at physics classroom, at least for VR-wearing Madie Van Pelt

Even while away from the Jackson Prep XR lab, seven students were able to take part in an experiment with the virtual reality technology, from the comfort of their own homes. The initiative, led by Ms. Meagan Vinson, Mr. Donald Regan, and Ms. Jane Zhu was an effort to see if holding classes remotely via Virtual Reality was a possibility in the future.

Beginning Monday, May 11, the students began and completed the process of logging in to the system with their newly-loaned VR headsets. It was mainly an uneventful day, as most “coordination” days are. The real excitement was to come later.

The following day, students and teachers alike experienced what it would be like to be in a virtual classroom, with some adventures mixed in. Along with the experimentation with classes, the students and teachers were able to virtually tour a Titanic exhibit, the planet Mars, and a black hole. Participants are also able to speak to each other through their headsets, just as they would in a typical Zoom class meeting, minus seeing their actual faces.

From the looks of the experiment, it appears to have been a success. The future looks promising for VR-inspired classtime at Jackson Prep.