Tuesday, 18 December 2018

VR helps children learn about human heart from inside

VR helps children learn about human heart from inside

PUPILS at Badgemore Primary School in Henley used virtual reality technology to explore the human heart.

The Heart Academy, a charity, brought along headsets which are used by surgeons to practise surgery for the children to try out.

The nine- and 10-year-olds took a journey through the heart from the perspective of a blood cell.

Lucy Gowing, development officer at the charity, said: “It’s trying to inspire children to learn about the heart in a different way. Instead of just showing them the normal PowerPoint presentation, we’re using virtual reality headsets.

“They get to experience how complex the heart actually is and get a feel for the valves and chambers.

“They pop on the headset and it’s pretty much good to go. The first thing they see is the heart from outside and they then travel through the inferior vena cava, which feels like a roller coaster and they are in the heart. It’s then out to the lungs and back around.

“The children have some worksheets to make sure they are taking in the key points.

“Teachers think this is much more efficient and engaging. We ask the kids to take a test before and after the lesson and what they have learned. We’re bringing them from a one or two out of 10 up to a nine or 10.

“This is the eighth school we been to as part of the pilot. We’re hoping to roll it out nationwide in January.”

Heart Academy is planning three further lessons at the school based around physical activity, healthy eating and making healthy choices.

Assistant headteacher Tim Hoskins said: “We’re really excited to try this. It brings the subject to life and helps the children to understand.”

Pupil Ewan Jacob, 10, said he was scared to see inside the heart, adding: “It didn’t look nice.”

Seb Kapron-Crook, 10, said: “It was great and really cool because we actually went inside the heart. It was disgusting at the same time.”

Imogen Boon, 10, said: “I like the heart because it keeps me alive, but it was a bit gross!”

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