Wednesday, 14 June 2017

VR Chemistry Lessons with MEL Science App

MEL Science creates standalone chemistry set as a subscription service. The kits are fantastic and of a very high quality. Tech Age Kids had the pleasure of reviewing and experimenting with the kits last year.

To compliment their product line, they have launched MEL Chemistry VR, an interactive environment to take away the abstractness of chemistry and bring it right into your living room.

MEL Chemistry VR created a virtual reality classroom environment where children can discover basic chemistry concepts in an interactive way. It allows you to see for example the structure of an atom, the difference between solids and gases, what an electron orbital or an isotope is.

Virtual Reality Classroom

MEL Chemistry VR is developed for the Google Daydream and is not compatible with other devices. There is an MEL Chemistry app which compliments the subscription science kits, which you can try out with a google cardboard. Google recommends that Daydream View should not be used by children under the age of 13. MEL Science has indicated they will add support for Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR later this year.

Currently, you can sign up for a demo version of 6 lessons for free. They are planning to release 150 lessons covering all aspects of science in the K-12 school curricula.

Tech to Inspire Interest in Chemistry

MEL Chemistry and Science is more targeted towards the teen market and even the science kits are proper science equipment and chemicals. Many teens would be familiar with VR technology through gaming and so it makes sense to use the same tech to inspire an interest in learning chemistry.

My husband, who studied Genetics at University, thought it was a brilliant way to help understand complex concepts and inspire more kids to study science. The VR experience makes it very interactive and accessible.

Watch the video below for a flavour of what to expect in this virtual science classroom.

“Yes, VR can be used to simulate a real lab. So instead of using real chemicals, test tubes, and burners, you use virtual ones. However, this is not where VR can bring the most value to science education. Real hands-on experiments are more engaging for kids. Nothing can replace the feeling of doing something yourself. You see science. You touch science. You smell science,” says Vassili Philippov, CEO of MEL Science.

“Where VR is irreplaceable is in showing kids invisible science, such as placing them inside a chemical reaction, where molecules fly all around them and they see how those molecules interact with each other. We can let kids play with atomic orbitals and encourage them to touch the orbitals, build their own atoms and molecules, and see what happens.”

For more information see MEL Chemistry VR

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