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Mill Creek Elementary students join Google pioneer expedition

Mill Creek Elementary students to use virtual reality to explore Mars. Photo courtesy of Google.
Mill Creek Elementary students to use virtual reality to explore Mars. Photo courtesy of Google.

From an Everett Public Schools News Release.

Mill Creek Elementary School students to explore new worlds through Google eyes.

Students pick the plain brown cardboard viewer, the smartphone already tucked inside, and lift the viewer up to their faces.

As they look inside, they see a panorama of the red, silty soil of Mars. As they move the viewer around, the landscape shifts with them as if they are really there, moving within the landscape – all real images collected by NASA's exploration rover, Spirit.

Mill Creek Elementary School was selected to join the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program. On February 2, 2016, a team from Google Expeditions will guide second through fifth-grade students through virtual field trips of places around the world.

Expeditions” helps immerse students in virtual reality experiences that bring abstract concepts to life and give students a deeper understanding of the world beyond their classrooms.

These panoramic virtual explorations aren’t just for children. Professionals are using them in their jobs as well. Watch this video from CNN to see how a team of heart surgeons used this tool to save a baby’s life.

Kathy Johns, Instructional Technology Specialist at Mill Creek Elementary shared, “This technology has the potential to totally change the way students experience learning. The possible applications for the classroom make my head spin! Expeditions allow students to take virtual field trips of places they read about in literature, history or geography. The experience adds depth and context to their learning.

Teacher Librarian Carol Kummerle added, “Expeditions provide an unparalleled opportunity for supplemental learning in the classroom. It is a brilliant way for teachers to integrate virtual reality in their classrooms.”

Subaru donated cars to bring Google Expedition Pioneer Program kits to schools. Photo courtesy of Google.

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