Facebook Donating 500 Virtual Reality Kits to Arkansas Schools

Facebook is donating 500 virtual reality kits to Arkansas schools under a first-of-its-kind partnership between the social media company and the state, according to the Associated Press.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the donation Thursday as part of the Arkansas Facebook and Techstart Partnership, which is aimed at generating interest in computer science careers and instruction among students. The kits will include computers, cameras and the Oculus Rift headsets needed for the VR program. The value of the donation is estimated at $1 million, according to news reports.

Under the agreement, the VR kits will be distributed to approximately 250 schools, educational co-ops and STEM education centers. The donations will primarily target high schools with a high percentage of low-income students.

“Whenever (students) can touch the technology, can put it on and they can see the reality — the virtual reality — of what coding can do, that’s going to inspire a lot of students to say this is a future that I want to be involved in,” Hutchinson told reporters Thursday.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].