Legoscope

Research Analyst Fred Hagemeister writes of an interesting recent 3D project:

Omar Quintero, Biology, contacted me late Monday with an outreach project he is developing.  It revolves around microscopy, using a microscope built out of Lego.  To get it to work, he needed to 3D print some pieces that serve as adapters between the Legos and the optics for the microscope.  See http://legoscope.squarespace.com/aboutlegoscope/ for more information.  From a cost perspective, a Legoscope is not an obvious winner compared to value-line toy or USB-connected scopes based on cost, but the Legoscope can build on natural excitement with children, i.e., science can be fun, and it can evolve through iterative design effort and modular.  The pictures below are of the parts being modeled in Preform printing software and the actual printed parts that are most of the way through the process this morning:

Preform printing of Legoscope pieces                  Printed Legoscope pieces

 

The Educational Usefulness of Virtual Reality

The Educational Usefulness of Virtual Reality

Congratulations to our own Andrew Bell and Scott Pennington for their featured “Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Separating Technology Hype from Educational Usefulness” presentation at this year’s New Media Consortium (NMC) annual conference, held in Rochester, NY. Their presentation focused on whether virtual reality (VR) is, or will be, educationally useful. They identified classroom use cases as well as addressed the limitations of the current VR technologies. Their central conclusion was that, as a medium, VR has the potential to be an effective educational tool but only if VR content is engaging, immersive, and interactive.

Back from the conference, Scott and Andrew are excited about creating a virtual reality focus group here on campus. Already, a number of faculty have integrated Google Cardboard into classroom projects and we are excited to have purchased both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive for faculty and student projects. If interested in joining the virtual reality focus group or if you’d like to use VR tools in the classroom, email Andrew at abell4@richmond.edu.