BioDive combines virtual reality and digital journaling to enable students to experience the life of a scientist. Middle school students take on the role of marine biologists investigating the delicate ecosystems of venomous marine snails. Throughout their expedition, students observe, discover, and hypothesize about abiotic and biotic factors that impact marine biodiversity.
The virtual reality experience utilizes Google Cardboard, which requires only a smartphone and a $15 headset. Using their inexpensive VR headsets, students are transported to an underwater expedition.
Students work in online personalized digital science journals to takes notes about what they experienced, answer questions, develop hypotheses and construct models. Then students go to the virtual world to test their hypothesis, just like career scientists go on expeditions. When the students return from virtual reality, they show their observations, claims, reasoning and evidence.
Students’ written answers, models and their virtual reality interactions are all updated live in a teacher dashboard so teachers can offer real-time targeted support to students.
BioDive is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and requires one phone for every four students who work collectively as they complete their digital journals. Each virtual reality experience lasts approximately two minutes.