Virtual Reality

Rhode Island HS Adds 3D Viewing System

A small network of public high schools in Rhode Island has added zSpace virtual reality technology to its student technology offerings. The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technology Center, which is on track to have nearly 900 students next fall, provides academic and vocational curriculum that's tailored for each student. zSpace provides a 3D viewing system that students can use to explore virtual images through a proprietary console and eyewear.

zSpace provides a 3D viewing system that students can use to explore virtual images through a proprietary console and eyewear.

zSpace provides a 3D viewing system that students can use to explore virtual images through a proprietary console and eyewear.

At the Met, zSpace is being used in several ways, according to Met Liberty School Principal Arthur Baraf. "We have students who are working in hospitals using zSpace to do anatomical work like dissections, as well as students working at the Rhode Island Computer Museum who are using zSpace to practice what they learned there by making virtual circuit boards," he said in a press release.

High schooler Anthony Torres is applying the technology — as well as his school's 3D printer — to build a "virtual nature library." Torres intends to replicate the skeletal structure of animals using zSpace and then print them. Using Leopoly, 3D design software, he can hold and shape his virtual animals through zSpace instead of working with them solely on a flat screen. The final products will be available as physical animal models for students to study or sketch.

"zSpace is simple, but once people see what they can achieve with it, they can accomplish incredible things," said Baraf.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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