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Virtual learning at Clement | Sampson Independent



Sheyla Gutierrez examine portions of a human skeleton using zSpace technology. –

Using Virtual and Augmented Reality technology, a projection screen shows Liliana Almonte Lopez increasing the size of a tarantula, while observing different parts of a spider. –

Students Grace Bullard, Jake Anderson, Daylan Barefoot, Sheyla Gutierrez and Liliana Almonte Lopez enjoy using Mixed Reality technology from zSpace. –

Sam Lucchese, regional director for zSpace, directs students during a demonstration. The students are Riley Kennedy, Bethany Hall, Jacob Ratliff, Mason Edge, Perla Canales and Jacob Holland. – –

Grace Bullard uses a stylus pen to move objects on zSpace technology. Also pictured is Daylan Barefoot. – –

Sheyla Gutierrez examines portions of a brain using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. A projector screen at Clement Elementary displayed what students were seeing through 3-D glasses. – –

AUTRYVILLE — Using a stylus pen, Sheyla Gutierrez made ventricles of a brain float in the air, while wearing a pair of 3-D glasses.

Gutierrez and her classmates said they were very familiar with the Marvel superhero Iron Man and his Augmented Reality (AR) technology used to fight villains in the movies. Thanks to zSpace, students at Clement Elementary School will have a chance to feel like Tony Stark in the classroom. Fifth-grade Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) students were introduced to the program Tuesday afternoon.

“I like it because you get to experience and see what’s inside of things,” Gutierrez said. “It’s really cool to see it in virtual reality.”

zSpace is a technology firm, based out of Sunnyvale, Calif. Using a system of Mixed Reality (MR), zSpace combines elements of AR and Virtual Reality (VR) and provides lifelike experiences and interactivity. AR uses a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, while the VR gives a 3-D image for interaction with the special equipment. Although head-mounted displays are popular, zSpace wanted to go in a different direction with its 3-D glasses with sensors, providing a better environment for collaboration.

Jake Ratliff enjoyed using the equipment and virtually dissecting objects and learning about the inner-workings of the watch.

“It was really fun and I think it’s going to help people learn a lot of stuff,” Ratliff said.

Sam Lucchese, regional director for zSpace, taught students about the technology, which gives them a chance to collaborate and share while wearing glasses and using a pen-like device to pick up and examine objects. The technology through zSpace allows students to complement and improve what they’re learning in the classroom, Lucchese said.

“More often than not, it’s giving students access to environments and objects that they would not have access to, easily in a daily school setting,” Lucchese said. “The key component from a technical perspective is that within that virtual space when they’re collaborating, they’re getting that hands-on experience. Nothing beats learning by doing.”

Lucchese said Clement Elementary is one of the first schools in the state and the first in Sampson County Schools to have the program. Across the United States, zSpace is available in 800 districts and several hundred secondary schools. Along with the technology and the development of new applications, curriculum team members and teachers plays a major role. They use the applications to create Next Generation Science Standards — expectations for what students should know and be able to do. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is also included.

“Even though it’s a really interesting technology, it wouldn’t be anything if it doesn’t match or support what they’re doing in the classroom,” Lucchese said.

At this point in the school year, the students are studying human anatomy. With zSpace, the students can examine different functions of a living person. Their teacher, Tara Armwood, said it’s an awesome opportunity for learners to use the mixed realities for their education.

“Before, the children would have to be limited to textbooks,” Armwood said. “Now, with things moving this way, it’s awesome that children can have this real life experience. We’re teaching future entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and other job occupations. I think it’s awesome.”

zSpace came to Clement Elementary with funding from the district’s AIG department. Armwood plans to start the same program at Midway Elementary School, where she serves as an AIG specialist. She expressed how she would like to have a lab with zSpace technology to provide more access.

Principal James “Bo” Mullins came to class and noticed the excitement on children’s faces.

“These kids are really excited about learning,” Mullins said. “If you can get them excited about learning, they’re going to do really well. This is really amazing stuff for the kids.”

Mullins showed appreciation to Armwood for bringing the program to Clement Elementary.

“With our student achievement scores being really good, it’s another tool for our kids to get some hands-on learning and something that’s different,” Mullins said. “It makes learning fun, it raises the bar and it helps us with making school exciting for our kids. It’s going to help them in the classroom and achieve at greater levels.”

Sheyla Gutierrez examine portions of a human skeleton using zSpace technology.

Using Virtual and Augmented Reality technology, a projection screen shows Liliana Almonte Lopez increasing the size of a tarantula, while observing different parts of a spider.

Students Grace Bullard, Jake Anderson, Daylan Barefoot, Sheyla Gutierrez and Liliana Almonte Lopez enjoy using Mixed Reality technology from zSpace.

Sam Lucchese, regional director for zSpace, directs students during a demonstration. The students are Riley Kennedy, Bethany Hall, Jacob Ratliff, Mason Edge, Perla Canales and Jacob Holland.

Grace Bullard uses a stylus pen to move objects on zSpace technology. Also pictured is Daylan Barefoot.

Sheyla Gutierrez examines portions of a brain using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. A projector screen at Clement Elementary displayed what students were seeing through 3-D glasses.

Through AIG funds, tech firm offers students 3-D experience

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.



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