Welcome to the good old days of Virtual Reality (Michael Abrash, Facebook’s top VR researcher, Oculus Connect 6, Sept 2019). VR technologies are in the midst of a period of rapid growth and expansion across many industries, but we are still very much in the early days of VR development. This is an ideal time for NIST students to be entering this field where the growth of VR technologies is predicted to expand at exponential rates driven by heavy investments and rapid growth in consumer devices (Statista, 2019). Industries such as gaming, automotive, transport, manufacturing, film, animation, cinematics, architecture, engineering, & construction are incorporating VR strategies into new ways of training staff, creating, prototyping, imagining and play.
VR technologies, therefore, offer infinite independent pathways for NIST students.
NIST has recently purchased an HTC Vive VR headset to test out some of these possibilities. Our aim is to:
Since the beginning of this school year, students & teachers from across the school have had the opportunity to explore VR. For some, this has been their first experience of VR while for others this has been an opportunity to extend their understandings. We have been playing with Beat Saber, painting in TiltBrush, designing in 3D with Gravity Sketch, experiencing 3D storytelling, testing our VR games in Rec Room, watching 360 videos in Within, building professional networks in AltSpaceVR and walking the world with Google Earth Street View. Most exciting has been students developing their own 3D worlds using Roblox Studio which they are then able to enter and experience with the Vive headset.
If you have VR experience and knowledge to offer or if you would like to test out the possibilities of VR yourself, please contact Philip Williams in the MLC elementary library at email@example.com
This week we’d like to celebrate one of our longest serving NIST employees who just so happens to work in one of the most well-liked spaces in the school, the elementary MakerSpace! Khun Siew has worked at NIST since 1996. In this time she has been the secretary to the Head of Primary, and an academic assistant for EY 1, EY 2, Y1, Y4, and Y6. As the elementary MakerSpace began to take shape, grew in popularity, and saw consistent and regular use, we saw a need for a full-time staff member. Khun Siew was tapped to fill this role. As soon as Khun Siew started in the MakerSpace, she brought a new level of organization and experimentalism. Khun Siew keeps the MakerSpace fully stocked with the various materials and is very resourceful in utilizing a variety of sources to find relevant materials. As a result, the Makerspace affords teachers the time and space to explore innovative hands-on learning experiences with their students.
When asked what she likes most about working in the Makersace Khun Siew said:
“I love crafting and making things, so to be able to help guide and support students with their creations is fun and rewarding.”
Our fabulous Year 2 students recently completed their How the World Works unit where they explored the central idea of “understanding the properties of materials allows people to design and create”. Through the conceptual lens of form, function, and change the students inquired into the properties of materials and how they behave, how we can manipulate, change, and combine materials, and how we use our understanding of materials to design and create.
The Year 2 team thought this would be a perfect chance to partner with Ms. Stephanie, the music teacher on a musical instrument building project. The students were able to take the knowledge and skills they were learning in both their homeroom and music class, and combine them to design and build a musical instrument! As you can imagine this was no small feat!
The students first spent time engaging in activities that helped them develop the skills necessary to build a musical instrument. The students also spent time learning and applying the design cycle, which they will continue to develop throughout their IB educational journey. After a couple of weeks of skill building, the students were ready to design and build their instruments! The students were able to utilize the newly acquired design cycle resources and protocols to help them in this process. As the students began to build, they helped each other to improve their instruments by giving feedback, sharing insights, and communicating their new learning. In the end, the students designed and built some seriously impressive instruments… from scratch!