A global pandemic, climate change, economic uncertainties, diminishing resources — these crises compelled Deb to use the fellowship grant to equip her sixth-grade science classes with Oculus VR (virtual reality) headsets and accompanying technology to enhance her lessons on sustainability.
Deb’s curriculum consists of several units on sustainability, in which students research sustainable solutions to meet basic human needs, use CAD software design to create their own sustainable cities, and then 3D print their designs. Now, thanks to the Innovation in Teaching and Learning Fellowship, Deb has taken this project to another level: her students can now take virtual tours of the sustainable cities they design, allowing them to visualize new iterations where green spaces can connect with water and air purification, the energy grid and food supplies in cities of the future.
“Advancements in technology and access to knowledge present amazing opportunities for our students to engage in and become leaders in making our communities and our world a better place,” Deb says. “As educators, it is our responsibility to present those opportunities to our students by giving them the tools and skills to unleash their creativity and solve real-world problems. The future of VR tech is now, and my students are thrilled to have it in our classroom.”