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Virtual reality room comes to life

Student+demonstrates+how+the+VR+room+will+be+used+for+different+types+of+classes.
Student demonstrates how the VR room will be used for different types of classes.

Student demonstrates how the VR room will be used for different types of classes.

Mitch Martinez

Mitch Martinez

Student demonstrates how the VR room will be used for different types of classes.

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The virtual reality room in the De Smet Innovation Center will be used to greatly change the way students learn in some classes. The room currently has an Oculus Rift, a VR headset owned by Facebook. The headset allows students to build, create, and study things that they normally wouldn’t be able to do.

“There’s a lot of physics, robotics, and any kind of science applications,” Director of Innovation Lynn Maitz said. “There’s this really cool game where you can put a robot together virtually and then take what you learned in the virtual world and apply it to real life.”

Currently, no classes have been able to use the Rift, but that will change next year. Any class that can find a use for it can use the headset. The VR room is a space that is meant to help students innovate and try new things, and as teachers discover more uses for it, they are sure to utilize it in their lessons. Students will also be able to use it for their own personal school projects.

“We are currently working on the guidelines and standards for the VR room. I would imagine it would probably work to the way we book meeting rooms, and it will be a reservation system,” Maitz said. “I would expect that before school and after school it would possibly be a time that it was open as an open use.”

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Virtual reality room comes to life