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Tabletop virtual reality transforms learning for anatomy students

Special to the Bulletin
The ZSpace system is shown on display at the BHS Business Industry Trade Showcase in February.

“Students learn by trying and doing,” the ZSpace homepage narrates.

Learning through artificial reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) experiences is the main idea behind ZSpace applications.

Brownwood High School health science technology teacher Annalyn Deen has been using this advanced training in her classroom after receiving a grant from the Brownwood Education Foundation in 2019.

Deen incorporates the anatomy program on the computer to help students learn.

“The students use it to conceptualize the different body systems,” Deen said.

She said the human anatomy parts “literally jump off the screen,” greatly increasing the students’ understanding of the body system being studied.

Students can see the models in front of the screen and explore all the dimensions of the elements they are studying. This takes the idea of “pen and paper” to “tactile object.”

It also means students can try and do without fear of breaking materials, spilling chemicals, making a wrong incision, or blowing up a circuit.

ZSpace functions like a typical desktop computer and combines with the use of lightweight glasses and a stylus to create a three-dimensional experience for the student.

The ZSpace software application tracks the user's eyewear and tells the system in real time how to illustrate the object on the screen like a real, tangible object in front of the user.

ZSpace software also tracks the stylus, enabling the user to interact with objects projected in the screen. Users can move around and dissect the object before them.

ZSpace provides learning experiences for kindergarten through twelfth grade, health-science and medical processes, agri-science, transportation, and advanced manufacturing and skilled trades.

The Brownwood Education Foundation (BEF) provides grants to teachers so they may incorporate advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) into Brownwood High School classrooms.

The BEF 50x1000 fundraiser provides funds directly to STEM initiatives in Brownwood classrooms. To be a part of this crucial community effort, where 1,000 people each donate $50, visit http://supportbisd.com/50x1000.