A new „teacher mode“ has been added to guide a classroom of students through a VR chemistry lesson.
Earlier this year VRFocus reported on education service MEL Science launching a new virtual reality (VR) app called MEL Chemistry VR covering the main K-12 curriculum topics. Today, the company has announced it is now selling its VR chemistry lessons into schools in the UK.
The company launched a series of initiatives in order to make its way into schools, including a new feature, called “teacher mode”, that allows school teachers to use the company’s VR lessons in the classroom. MEL Science has also partnered with RedBoxVR, a company that manufactures and distributes VR kits to UK schools, and released 28 VR chemistry lessons that follow school curriculums.
Using the new “teacher mode” education professionals can guide a classroom of students through a VR chemistry lesson. Rather than use slides or a whiteboard, the teacher can illustrate concepts with an immersive VR experience that puts students in a virtual lab where they can zoom down to the atomic level, fly through the molecular makeup of chemicals and even build their own atoms.
MEL Science was founded by Vassili Philippov, Ph.D in Mathematics, who was inspired by his children to start MEL Science. He noticed his kids needed a more interactive way to understand the abstract concepts in subjects like chemistry, and believed VR could help bring their lessons to life.
“The biggest challenge for chemistry teachers is to visualise basic chemistry concepts,” said Phillipov in a statement. “We believe that VR is a great tool to explain the things that cannot be seen.”
The 28 VR chemistry lessons are now available on Google Cardboard and Google Daydream devices. The lessons are divided into three sets with MEL Science keeping the lessons short and informative, running between three to seven minutes in length. Each set is available for purchase on Google Play for individual users for $9.90 USD. A one year license for the school version that includes teacher mode costs $49.90 per device.
MEL Science’s partnership with RedBoxVR will allow UK schools to affordably purchase VR hardware with MEL Science’s chemistry lessons already integrated. For schools with existing VR hardware, a school license for the chemistry lessons can be purchased directly from MEL Science.