educhemvr

EduChem VR made a freemium app that was available on Google Play and Apple Itunes. They wanted to improve chemistry education and molecular biology learning.

 

The app was developed for smartphones and used to explain the shape and electrostatics of atoms and molecules in a virtual reality.

 

They tried to gamify chemistry education with user friendly smartphone apps for Google Cardboards and GearVR.

 

Virtual reality goggles can help students learn about atoms and bonds in a fun way.

Here is a example of VR technology viewing a molecule. The person above seems to be touching air, and below is the view he sees.

 

I’ve always been fascinated by the world of chemistry, but I must admit, sometimes the abstract nature of molecules and reactions can be a bit dry when confined to textbooks and two-dimensional diagrams. This all changed the day I slipped on a pair of VR goggles for an immersive chemistry learning experience. The headset was a high-end model with a resolution of 2160 x 1200, providing me with a crystal-clear view of the virtual world I was about to step into.

I remember the moment vividly. I was sitting at my desk, which is usually cluttered with notes and a periodic table poster hanging just above my monitor—a constant reminder of the elemental beauty of chemistry. The VR goggles felt snug yet comfortable, cushioned around my eyes and blocking out the real world completely. As I adjusted the straps for a better fit, I felt a mix of excitement and curiosity about how this technology would transform my understanding of chemistry.

With a click, I launched the educational VR program and was instantly transported into a three-dimensional laboratory, so lifelike that I reached out to touch a beaker that, of course, wasn’t really there. I was in awe as I navigated through the menu, selecting different modules designed to teach various chemistry concepts. The controllers in my hands became my virtual hands in the lab, allowing me to interact with equipment and molecules in a way I never thought possible.

One of the first modules I explored was molecular structure. I found myself surrounded by atoms and bonds that I could manipulate with a gesture. I grabbed a carbon atom and watched as it formed covalent bonds with hydrogen. Rotating the molecule in space, I could see the tetrahedral geometry from every angle. It was a revelation—no longer were these structures confined to the flat pages of my chemistry book; they were here, taking up virtual space around me, and I could explore them in a way that textbooks could never offer.

Next, I dove into a reaction mechanism module. I watched in amazement as reactants approached each other, their electrons shifting in real-time to form new bonds and create products. I could speed up, slow down, and even pause the reaction to understand each step of the process. It was like having superpowers that allowed me to dissect the very fabric of chemical reactions.

The VR goggles also came with a haptic feedback feature, which provided tactile sensations that corresponded with my virtual interactions.

 

Closeup of a molecule in VR

 

 

 

Virtual reality (VR) goggles can be a fantastic tool to help students learn about atoms and bonds in a more immersive and interactive way. VR technology can bring abstract concepts to life, making learning more engaging and easier to understand. Here’s how it can be used specifically for understanding atoms and bonds:

  1. Visualizing Atoms and Molecules: VR can enable students to explore and visualize the 3D structure of atoms and molecules, which is usually difficult with traditional 2D teaching materials. They can “see” electrons orbiting around the nucleus, or explore the 3D arrangement of atoms in a molecule, gaining a better understanding of its structure and properties.
  2. Interactive Learning: With VR, students can virtually “manipulate” atoms and bonds, assemble and disassemble molecules, and observe the effects. This can provide them with a hands-on understanding of how chemical reactions occur, how molecular structures influence properties, and how different types of bonds (ionic, covalent, etc.) differ from each other.
  3. Simulating Experiments: VR can simulate lab experiments that may not be feasible in a traditional school lab due to safety concerns, costs, or equipment limitations. For instance, students can “perform” experiments at the atomic level, like splitting an atom or creating a chemical reaction, and observe the results in real time.
  4. Enhancing Engagement: The immersive nature of VR can increase students’ engagement and motivation. By turning learning into a fun, game-like experience, VR can make the subject more interesting for students, which can improve retention and comprehension.
  5. Self-Paced Learning: With VR, students can learn at their own pace. They can pause, rewind, or replay certain sections as needed, ensuring they fully understand the material.

Scroll to Top