Learning and Experiencing with VR – National Park Experience
Participants explored a national park by using virtual reality (VR) headsets. These headsets provide a ‘real’ experience for the youth. The main objectives of the sessions were to:
Explore through virtual field trips – Participants learned about and saw different animals that they had never seen before. For some of the youth this was the first time they experienced a national park. They encountered different species of animals, learned their behaviours and what they eat. Participants also absorbed the beautiful landscapes, hills, vegetation, oceans and water waves. Furthermore, the participants also went on a field trip with the United States army, on a mission.
Bring science to life – Participants also experienced flight and roller coaster simulators. A roller coaster application was used to illustrate potential and kinetic energy, as well as the forces involved in a roller coaster. This activity also helped in building their motor skills as they had to balance during the activity.
Help fight phobias – VR was used to demonstrate how someone who prevoiusly had a fear of heights, could experience liberation after being exposed to heights in the virtual setting – They even got to experience the joy of a roller coaster! By overcoming fear, participants gain more confidence and courage to face challenges in other areas of their lives too. The VR experience emphasised how life’s challenges, fears, and “phobias” can first seem like limitations, however are really opportunities to grow and learn how to cope with fears.
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