The University of Tokyo (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 204-207
ISBN: 978-84-09-45476-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2022.0087
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
From the beginning of the 21st century, learning materials have diversified with the help of advanced technologies. For example, interactive installations, such as multitouch tabletops, have been employed in learning environments. An active participatory style was anticipated to offer more significant experiences to the learner. The author, who is a plant cell biologist/educator, examined an approach to deliver the structure and function of plant cells without using raw living cells because of the difficulty experienced when managing and displaying raw living cells for K-12 pupils.

This study aimed to envision a microworld that shows the inside of a cell with a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction by using advanced:
1) 3D printer and
2) virtual reality (VR).

This paper describes an approach to develop the structure and function of plant cells as learning materials for K-12 pupils.

For learning based on the concept of cells in elementary schools, providing a realistic and multisensory experience is better. Moreover, a 3D printer is useful in that it can contribute to education by enabling seeing and touching in diverse learning settings. Further, with VR, augmented experiences can be extended in a virtual space while simultaneously providing efficacious cell biological learning, such as learning about raw living cells. VR as a learning material is now being considered, which uses contents based on experimental data, such as microscopic observation. Nevertheless, only a few studies on plant cells have been shows until now. Plant cells have specific features, such as plastids and vacuoles. Based on the benefits of the these approach, the author considers that learning content can be expanded by using advanced technologies, including 3D printer and VR, for prompting learning in the field of plant cell biology.

The study attempted to reconstruct plastids in Arabidopsis pollen cells as 3D data and modeled them by using a 3D printer. An advanced 3D printer technology was used in this study, which achieved embodied both multicolored and transparent printing. The OBJ data of plastids in Arabidopsis pollen cells was modeled using Blender, a free software that reconstructs 3D computer graphics. Then, test printing was used to confirm the spatial positioning of the printed intercellular plastids in Arabidopsis pollen cells. Finally, several spherical plastids in Arabidopsis pollen cells representing the stages during pollen development were printed out with a diameter of 7 cm. The author is now developing VR contents as learning materials to understand the structure and function of plant cells by using Unity with Arabidopsis pollen cell images, a 3D real-time development platform in progress. The learner can experience travel into the microworld.
3D printer, virtual reality, cells, K-12 students.