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2017 IEEE Virtual Reality Workshop on K-12 Embodied Learning through Virtual & Augmented Reality (KELVAR) (2017)
Los Angeles, CA, USA
March 19, 2017 to March 19, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-5386-1893-6
pp: 1-6
Jiayan Zhao , Pennsylvania State University, United States of America
Peter LaFemina , Pennsylvania State University, United States of America
Jan Oliver Wallgrun , Pennsylvania State University, United States of America
Danielle Oprean , Pennsylvania State University, United States of America
Alexander Klippel , Pennsylvania State University, United States of America
ABSTRACT
Field trips are an essential part in many disciplines taught in K12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education inside and outside the US such as geography, geosciences, and architecture. Field trips foster embodied experiences of places where students can be situated into an informal learning environment. However, field trips are underutilized due to numerous constraints, a situation that current mass development in immersive technologies promises to eliminate. This paper presents an educational project that aims at creating and empirically evaluating virtual reality (VR) experiences for the geosciences: an interactive volcano experience based on LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) and image data of Iceland's Thrihnukar volcano. This work-in-progress prototype addresses the lack of content and tools for immersive virtual reality (iVR) in geoscientific education and research and how to make it easier to integrate iVR into classroom experiences. It makes use of environmentally sensed data such that interaction and linked content can be integrated into a single experience. We discuss our workflows as well as methods and authoring tools for iVR analysis and creation of virtual educational experiences. These methods and tools aim to enhance the utility of geospatial data from repositories such as OpenTopography.org through unlocking treasure-troves of geospatial data for VR applications. Their enhanced accessibility in education and research for the geosciences and beyond will benefit geoscientists and educators who cannot be expected to be VR and 3D application experts.
INDEX TERMS
Immersive virtual reality, geoscience education, volcano, 3D modeling
CITATION

Jiayan Zhao, P. LaFemina, J. O. Wallgrun, D. Oprean and A. Klippel, "iVR for the geosciences," 2017 IEEE Virtual Reality Workshop on K-12 Embodied Learning through Virtual & Augmented Reality (KELVAR), Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2017, pp. 1-6.
doi:10.1109/KELVAR.2017.7961557
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