WORLD OF PHYSICS AND VR4STEM CASE STUDIES - HOW VIRTUAL REALITY ATTRACTS THE EDUCATION

Z. Palkova1, M. Palko2, K. Kovas3, F. Grivokostopoulou3, I. Hatzilygeroudis3

1Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (SLOVAKIA)
2New Edu, n.o. (SLOVAKIA)
3University of Patras (GREECE)
The main aim of the article is to present how virtual reality is used in activities for making education more attractive to young generations. The paper presents two project supported by the European Commission under the programme Erasmus + - VR4STEM – „Virtual Reality for STEM Entrepreneurship Training“ and World of Physics – „An innovative virtual reality educational environment for school physics education“ - focus on the implementation of Virtual reality and 3D Virtual worlds for different types of education and training.

The VR4STEM project aims to assist young people to gain entrepreneurship skill in STEM domain and the related ICT industry. The project’s main aim is to offer an educational environment for teaching/learning STEM entrepreneurship aspects that uses advanced ICT-based educational methods, like 3D virtual reality based ones. This leads to more attractive ways of teaching, through the Virtual 3D World that is developed, and hence to more effective ICT-based teaching and training. The VR4STEM project offers to young people the chance to improve understanding and skills on STEM entrepreneurship, through the use of augmented technologies and contributes in improving the quality of learning.

The World of Physics project aims to assist students in studying physics domain with the utilization of innovative technologies like virtual reality. Specifically, a 3D virtual reality educational environment is developed possessing innovative educational infrastructure, and offering immersive and efficient learning opportunities, engaging students in various educational activities, learning scenarios and offering students an attractive, entertaining and efficient way to learn various topics of the challenging domain of physics. The students have the ability to virtually visit laboratories, perform experiments, explore procedures and examine the ways that are conducted. The virtual educational environment and the laboratories are designed in a way that supports students to form appropriate mental models of involved concepts, by visualizing them and allowing interactions with the virtual phenomena and processes. This contributes in more effective ICT-based teaching and training and also offers new, more attractive ways of teaching, through the Virtual 3D World that is developed. Students can improve their understanding and skills on physics with the use of advanced ICT (like virtual reality technology), thus improving the quality of education and learning.