Virtual Reality at the ED Games Expo

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Come out to the the Kennedy Center in Washington DC on January 8 to Demo 11 New VR Learning Games.

Virtual Reality (VR) is an emerging area in education that holds promise for enriching student learning both in and out of the classroom. VR can immerse students in hands-on situations that often times would not be possible otherwise, all while connecting the experiences to academic learning and skill building. VR’s advances have improved the quality of content and gameplay, increased the potential for individualized learning and allowed commercial viability through off-the-shelf kits. Thanks to this, more and more game developers are tapping into the VR landscape and creating unique experiences for educational games.

Susanna Pollack, president of Games for Change, will be attending and moderating the panel discussion So You Want To Be A Game Developer on Monday January 8 at 11 am, in which leading developers will share their professional trajectory with high-school students who want to learn game design skills.

The annual 2018 ED Games Expo will demo 11 new virtual reality learning technologies (along with other 100+ learning games) at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Attendees will also have the chance to meet the developers while playing one-of-a-kind games. The VR games will be targeted towards students of all ages and will focus on diverse topics including science, engineering, history, thinking, medical training, and health. 

The 11 VR exhibits will include:

  • SuperChem VR, high school students perform chemistry experiments safely and in a cost-effective manner in an immersive virtual reality (VR) game environment. In development by Schell Games through a 2016 ED/IES SBIR award.  
  • Cell Runner is a virtual reality (VR) cell surface dune buggy/bumper car game which puts students (of any grade) in the driver’s seat of learning the abstract concept of the rapid and chaotic diffusion of proteins on the cell surface. Developed by Molecular Jig Games with support provided by NSF SBIR.
  • BioDive uses virtual reality and digital experiences to place middle school students in the role of scientist as they conduct an expedition to seek out venomous marine snails. Developed by Killer Snails with support by NSF SBIR.
  • In the Wright’s First Flight middle and high schools students learn the basics of engineering a plane through hands-on and online activities, then get a firsthand look at what it looks (and feels) like to fly it through a virtual reality (VR) simulation. Developed by the Smithsonian Institution.
  • In Journey Through a Supernova Remnant middle and high school students take a 3D/VR exploration through the invisible remnants of the Cassiopeia, a supernova. This is a groundbreaking 3D representation based on real telescopic data.  Developed by the Smithsonian Institution.
  • VR-EaT is a virtual reality game that supports development of executive functions (switching) for grade 6 and up. Developed by NYU CREATE Lab with partial support from a 2016 IES research award.
  • Osso VR is a virtual reality surgical training platform that helps students explore careers in healthcare professions while teaching actual medical procedures through realistic, hands-on simulations in an operating room. Developed by OSSO, in part supported by OCTAE’s EDSim Challenge.
  • In Brush Up VR  children learn how to brush their teeth more effectively and get used to healthy habits .Developed by Games That Work with NIH SBIR support.
  • ChirosVR encourages middle and high school students to experiment with molecular construction to gain an intuitive understanding of the principles that shape the universe. Developed by Alchemie through a 2017 NSF SBIR award.
  • Gaspee VR takes middle and high school students back to the year 1772, to the first act of war by the Colonists against the Crown. The project is being produced by Adam Blumenthal, with students from Brown University and will be distributed by the online high school, ASU Prep Digital, at Arizona State University.
  • The Wizard of Menlo Park is a Virtual Reality (VR) experience middle and high school students to explore Thomas Edison’s lab in 1879, to learn about the impact of new technologies on society, and The Gaspee VR takes middle and high school students back to 1772 to the first act of war by the Colonists against the crown. In development by a team including the ASU Prep Digital at Arizona State University, Optimity Advisors, and Brown University.

Most of the learning games and technologies at the Expo were developed with the support of 17 different programs in the federal government, including more than 40 from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Research Grants Program at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education.

The 2018 ED Games Expo is a free event and is open to the public from 10AM to 8PM. To attend and for further information please visit the ED Games Expo website and don’t miss out on this event that will feature more than 100 demonstrations of impactful learning games and new technologies.


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