Engaging Students Through STEM Education | America's Farmers

your community and new ways to engage students

In most instances, a picture is worth a thousand words. But when it comes to learning, touch beats a picture any day of the week. With a Grow Communities donation, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund and directed by farmers Jeff and Janet Yaggie, the Breckenridge school district of Minnesota is arming students with ability to bring science to life, and in 3D.

The Yaggie’s Grow Communities donation contributed to the purchase of zSpace technology—virtual reality computers that create immersive and interactive experiences. Sporting 3D goggles and a Bluetooth pen, students can use the devices to learn from a variety of discipline areas. As virtual reality becomes a new professional frontier, Breckenridge students are getting a leg up on STEM learning. Breckenridge Superintendent, Diane Cordes, can testify to the power of zSpace. In a demonstration with one of the biology programs, she felt like she was holding the human heart in her hand.

You can see how fast the heart is beating. You can feel it through the pen.

She says that in this demo, students in a biology class could feel what it means for a heart to be in a-fibrillation. They could also “dissect” the heart and look at its ventricles and aortas. The virtual reality technology allows students engage in experiential learning and can be applied to science, anatomy, mathematics, the arts and much more.