FYP Proposal – VR Science Experiment
Fourth Year is here and immediately the acronym “FYP” is being thrown around at almost every opportunity! After pitching my ideas to my lectureres in LIT; the most popular was my idea to create an environment for students to do Science experiments within. I wanted to create this project using Virtual Reality and Unity.
Statement of problem to be solved
Lack of interaction in certain aspects of education such as science experiments not feasible or too dangerous to perform in the classroom.
Background to the problem
There are avenues of primary and secondary school subjects that students learn about that could benefit from more interaction. Learning is more effective the more a student interacts with the subject. Simply reading about a topic is limited in how it is cognitively received. The more a student physically or visually experiences new information; the more likely they are to enjoy and remember the knowledge. Classrooms have the capacity to be more bilateral in terms of theory and practice in learning.
Outline of proposed solution
Using Virtual Reality hardware, I suggest allowing students to interact with a front-end learning environment. Using a VR headset such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, in conjunction with VR peripherals such as Arduino and/or Leap Motion I hope to allow students to perform a science experiment using real life objects. The science experiment would allow the student to attempt to create a science experiment using multiple in-game chemicals. The application would be built in Unity and would be deployable to various devices. This would be aimed at primary and/or secondary school science students.
- Allow the user to create one science experiment
- Accommodate for a successful experiment procedure
- Accommodate for an unsuccessful experiment procedure
- Strong focus given to UX & UI design in VR
- Add a help guide / tutorial segment which outlines correct experiment procedure and what should be avoided
- Accompanying website
- Publish for PC & Mac
Explanation of why proposed solution is appropriate
The solution allows for educators to introduce aspects to education that were not previously feasible. My solution attempts to resolve the issue of cost and danger that are inclusive of certain Science experiments that are currently not achievable in schools. By using VR, students are not exposed to expensive or harming chemicals or substances, but also benefit from emulating the experiment via a front-end application.
The solution has the potential to be ported to other subjects and is not limited to dangerous or costly science experiments. A VR application such as this has the capacity to aid in helping students learn via reenacting historical events, simulating physics, exploring geographical locations and much more.