STEM Academy at Nimitz Middle School is using the Merge Cubes and VR (virtual reality) headsets that were purchased with a North East Educational Foundation grant to elevate their science curriculum. The Merge Cubes and VR headsets provide students with a broader sense of concepts of study from the micro (DNA) level to the macro (planetary) level.
For example, in a 7th grade science class led by teacher, Cheryl Hernandez, the students were studying the earth’s layers down to the core. Shown in the video is a student holding up the Merge Cube and turning it to reveal each of the earth’s layers. The students can sync the Merge Cube with their VR goggles to view the lesson in virtual reality or augmented reality, making it a truly interactive experience.
Cheryl’s 7th-grade class is entering a TechRise competition sponsored by NASA, in which they will use the Cubes and goggles to design, build, and launch experiments for real high-altitude balloon flights. The winners will receive funds to build their payloads and launch them on a NASA-sponsored commercial high-altitude balloon flight.
One study submitted by 7th grader, Daniel Grinman Rivera, will compile electromagnetic readings at various heights of the earth’s atmosphere. The readings will create an interactive panorama of the electromagnetic fields to be used by scientists, teachers, and students.
The North East Educational Foundation exists to raise funds that will be dispersed to NEISD teachers and classrooms through a thoroughly vetted Innovative Grant approval process.