mBot Lesson Observation
Mr Andrew Purcell, Operations Manager from Google, visited Zhenghua Secondary School on 15 April 2016. The purpose of his visit was to better understand the school’s STEM Applied Learning Programme (ALP) in the area of Robotics and Game Design & Simulation. He sat in the ALP lesson conducted for a Sec 2 N(T) class and watched students learning and exploring how to programme simple movement commands on their mBot robot using drag-and-drop logic blocks. Mr Purcell also took the opportunity to interact with several students to find out their views on the lesson and interest.
After the lesson observation, a brainstorming session was held with another group of 27 students. In fact, the school’s core ALP team members specially ran a recruitment drive in end Jan to select these students to “challenge the impossible” with Google by submitting a wild project idea. During the session, Mr Purcell led students to expand their wild ideas using post-its and sort them based on common themes or features. After that, the students walked to the whiteboard to vote for their favourite project idea. They eventually decided to create a realistic virtual game where users can have real-life and real-time experiences that affect their five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) depending on the game environment. For instance, if a user gets hit in the game, he/ she will be able to feel the “hit” on him/her.
Students went on various expeditions, from trekking up the mountains to driving deep down into the oceans, all through their Google cardboard and virtual reality mobile app.
Google Expedition Pioneer Programme
Following from the April session, Mr Purcell brought his team mates to Zhenghua Secondary School on 28 August 2016 to conduct a pioneer run of the “Expedition” programme (https://www.google.com/ edu/expeditions/) using Google cardboard and virtual reality technology. To embark on an “Expedition”, there must be a guide and a few individuals as explorers. The guide will “lead” the expedition with a tablet as the explorers “follow on” with their phone-mounted Google cardboard. Participants comprising a mix of students, teachers and STEM Inc educators had a “wander-ful” afternoon, from trekking up the mountains to diving deep down into the sea with their Google cardboards. Through the Google Expedition pioneer programme, teachers were introduced to new/ alternative educational resource for designing interactive, immersive group-based learning. Teachers can consider using Google cardboards to supplement educational activities, such as learning journeys to museums and learning about historical places in History lessons.
Written By: Cherish Chan