By Erika McEuen, VP IC Stars
Oculus Go VR Classroom- The immersive classroom of the Future
SPACE CONGRESS, Cape Canaveral, FL Light the Fire- Inspiring the Next Generation
This year, 46th Space Congress at Cape Canaveral in conjunction with the Kennedy Space Center and NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission. In reflecting on the history and lessons learned, the focus of the conference was on the future of space travel.
Aaron McEuen, CEO of IC-Stars, like many other children of his generation, had a childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. His passion and talent for computer animation led him to start his own production company – creating content for Planetarium shows.
Now with IC-Stars, he’s inspiring the next generation to shoot for the stars!
IC-Stars, a 501(c)3 with a passion for STEM educational support, and it’s outreach educational partner, Star Smart University, were proud to be a part of Space Congress 2019 as sponsors.
In keeping with the focus of the conference, IC-Stars’ staff members were excited to introduce their newest tool for educational outreach. The Oculus Go VR Classroom.
The Oculus Go VR Classroom can be many things, and can go many places. For the conference it was a virtual planetarium.
Because it’s 360*, the Oculus Go VR classroom creates a completely immersive environment that cannot be accomplished in a planetarium or a portable dome theater. (which Star Smart University also provides to schools and events). The response was overwhelming excitement.
Getting to this position has not been without struggle. It should be noted that IC-Stars, which stands for International Children’s Society for Technology, Arts, Reading and Science – and its partner, StarSmart University – started as the shared dream of Aaron McEuen and his wife, Erika McEuen, to bring much needed educational outreach and STEM support to schools across the state of Utah, the US and Internationally.
This dream, has now culminated to a position of multiple areas of participation. Upon their return to their local state of Utah, StarSmart University has been putting the VR Goggles to the test at Goblin Valley State Park. Working with a faith based Young Women’s Camp they provided astronomy educational content via the goggles. Theme was Mission to Mars: Together we go farther…
Goblin Valley presented an interesting test scenario because of its remote desert location. Difficult to get an internet connection and power wasn’t readily available. They have also partnered with Salt Lake Astronomical Society for several star parties which welcomed the general public.
IC-Stars, through the partnership of many followers, supporters, and with financial sponsorship and support from Coins For Kenya – is now scheduled to go to Africa on the 28th of July in its first international adventure. The destination is Rabai, Kenya. I C Stars crew will arrive in Nairobi on Tuesday night, July 30 2019.
Their purpose is to bring their Oculus Go VR360 educational package to this region. They have proved that this works without internet connectivity or connection to a power source. This is very helpful in remote areas such as Rabai.
With the help of the OculusGo VR classroom, they can show the children of Kenya places that they might never see in their lifetimes. Such as Russia, Australia, or China. It can open up the world to them – or the Universe.
The Oculus Go VR Classroom is just one of the many ways, within the country and Internationally – that the International Children’s Society of Technology Arts, Reading and Science, or IC-Stars – with the help of their partners, will keep its promise to serve the Children of the world.
To ‘light the fire’ (as Space Congress at NASA put it) of curiosity and wonder, so that they too have an opportunity to learn, develop their talents and to shine!
IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN