EXplore the Moon
The purpose of this project is to provide middle school science students with a first-person experience of the Apollo 11 moon landing through a Google Cardboard VR tour.
- Describe the physical properties of the moon.
- Evaluate ways the moon landscape differs from earth.
- Analyze the effect of the moon’s geography on the lunar landing module.
Audience: The audience for this lesson is middle school students in the first-year physical science classes.
Function: The VR lesson will be part of a week-long module on the Apollo 11 moon landing. The students will tour of the lunar landscape as they learn about the physical properties of the moon, how it differs from the earth, and how these differences created issues for the Apollo 11 lunar module. Key locations will include interactive hotspots containing written information and audio clips from the original moon landing.
The project will be developed using Google Expeditions and viewed using Google Cardboard viewers and the Cardboard app.
What I Learned: Immersion in a virtual world allows students to construct knowledge from direct experience, not from descriptions of experience. Even though Google Cardboard does not offer a fully immersive VR environment, the ability to experience the lunar landing in 3D instead of simply reading about it or watching a news reel is an important element of student engagement.
I also learned that there are many varieties of VR and AR available for learning. As I reviewed each option, I selected the Google Cardboard for my project because it is a product that most any teacher can use. Google provides a wealth of resources in their Poly library and the final product is watched using a free smartphone app. In fact, the teacher could use the technology in a different way and assign the student to design the VR world on their own.
What I Hope to Achieve: With this project, my goal is to lift the Apollo 11 moon landing from the pages of history and allow the learners to experience the event in VR. Using the lunar landscape as the focus of the project, the student is able to interact with the knowledge in a visual and auditory manner. Unlike books or even video, using VR pushes the envelope by creating an alternate reality that enables the student to learn about the Apollo 11 mission by walking with the astronauts on the moon’s surface.
Create a Google Tour: https://vr.google.com/tourcreator/
Google VR Developer: https://developers.google.com/vr/
Google Cardboard: https://vr.google.com/cardboard/
Google Cardboard DIY Instructions: https://vr.google.com/cardboard/get-cardboard/