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HMS at Allen gets virtual reality machines

Students work on virtual reality machinesThanks to new virtual reality machines, students at Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen will be able to examine worlds normally out of their reach.

HMS at Allen has received eight zSpace virtual reality machines, thanks to a $38,000 grant from Alcoa. When coupled with software, the machines allow students at the STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics) school to have a wide range of experiences from their classrooms.

“This allows students to look at the science curriculum,” said Bryan Cunningham, HMS at Allen principal. “This is a new way for our students to interact with the content.”

Teachers at the school trained on the equipment and software on Sept. 16 and are beginning to incorporate into classes. If the class is looking at anatomy, for example, it will allow students to interact with a beating heart. For earth science, students could examine the geology underneath Hutchinson layer-by-layer.

“Teachers also can set up experiments and change the variables for students during the class,” Cunningham said.

When HMS at Allen received the grant earlier this year, staff was told they were the only elementary school in the Midwest with the product.

Each of the eight virtual reality machines include a 24-inch high-definition display with zSpace virtual reality technology, a zSpace stylus, zSpace eyewear and a keyboard and a mouse.

For more information, go to the zSpace website at http://edu.zspace.com/.