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Google is helping STEM students get hands-on time by building a VR lab

Aug 23, 2018, 3:30 pm

For many students getting an access to a lab is not easy. There are several reasons such as student demand may be too high or their school cannot afford to provide unlimited access. But for students pursuing STEM degrees like biology, practical lab time is essential and sometimes it is required for a student to have enough lab experience.

Google has tried their best and quite frankly outdone themselves to help students with the lab time that they need. The search giant has partnered with science education company Labster to create more than 30 virtual labs on the Daydream platform. Students now can do their lab work in VR without going anywhere and from their homes as well.

Manipulating DNAEarlier this month students in Arizona State University’s online B.S in Biological Sciences programme began working in these virtual labs for full course credit. This has been a successful programme so far and Google is hoping that their new platform will soon be used by the students at the University of Texas at San Antonio, McMaster University, and other institutions across North America as well as Europe.

Using Daydream View or the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream students now one can examine organisms under a microscope and sequencing DNA. These works would have needed physical presence before. But now it can be done using VR. They can also do things that wouldn’t be possible in the physical world, like seeing and manipulating DNA at the molecular level and visiting Astakos IV, a newly discovered exoplanet being explored as a potential habitat for human beings.

There is no time limit in the Google VR labs. Students can also receive personalized feedback in the app. It will help them improve their experiments. In addition to these, the Google VR labs will also advise them for improvement in particular concepts and techniques.

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