The project develops technology for teachers and students to share virtual worlds, and applies this to remotely-guided VR field trips.
“Kvasir-VR” injects live-streamed 3D teacher imagery into the VR views of immersed students, and integrates this with classroom-deployable VR stations. These were brought to schools in Lafayette, LA to teach solar energy concepts through field trips of a virtual solar plant. Intercity and intercontinental networked operation were also demonstrated, with network connections from Lafayette, LA to Austin, TX and to Adelaide, Australia. Kvasir-VR can provide the educational benefits of field trips and expert instruction when students cannot visit a real facility or expert in person, for example, due to geographic or scheduling constraints. Hundreds of students in Lafayette have been taught the basic concepts of solar energy production through deployment of the project. The Kvasir-VR framework could be integrated into numerous other educational or training applications.
Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1451833.
Team Information: CACS Virtual Reality Lab, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, The project is led by faculty and students of the School of Computing and Informatics (CMIX) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Collaborating members from the Department of Mechanical Engineering run a real solar energy plant and collaborated on the solar application, including the initial 3D plant model creation. Faculty from the School of Geosciences collaborated on the prior application for remotely-guided geosciences exploration, and on the original pitch to US Ignite. Three Lafayette high schools supported the testing of multiple prototypes: David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy, Comeaux High School, and St. Thomas More high school.