History students utilize virtual reality

STEM students gain lessons through high-tech gadgetry

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STEM School and Academy 10th-graders are incorporating technology into what used to be book-driven subjects.

On a recent day in Owen Cegielski’s history class, students took turns wearing a black virtual reality headset. With the headset on, one student navigated through a virtual museum of ancient civilizations. Another went to Mars on a rocket ship.

“We can see the result of what we work on in our other classes here,” William Joslin said as he pulled up a computer program in which he designed the museum.

Another group of students huddled around a small, clay head with gray hair, light-up eyes and a moving mouth. Art experts in Ceigielski’s class crafted the head to look like Wilhelm II, the last German emperor and a public figure of World War I. Engineering experts programmed the head to have similar mannerisms as Wilhelm and to respond to questions from individuals in the classroom — similar to the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Depending on the nature of the question, Wilhelm would declare war or not declare war

The goal of the project, Ceigielski said, was to combine STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — principles into a history class.

“It resembles a real-world problem,” Ceigielski said. “It takes a solving team to solve a problem.”

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