STEM students don’t have it easy, obviously. Aside from all the difficult and complicated things they have to learn in the classroom, they would also have to log in a significant amount of lab time to be able to get things done and to further their studies. But not everyone has access to it because of reasons like scheduling, distance, etc. Google has now partnered with science education company Labster to bring virtual laboratories through the Daydream virtual reality platform.
They have come up with 30 virtual labs which students can access from anywhere they are and without having to leave their rooms to go to an actual lab. They can examine organisms under a microscope and even sequence DNA. They can even do things that isn’t possible in the “real world” like seeing and manipulating DNA at the molecular level and visiting the newly discovered exoplanet called Astakos IV.
Since it’s a virtual lab, there are no time limits or no taking turns so you can stay as long as you want and review and experiment with all your theories, concepts, and techniques. You will even get feedback from the app to see which things you need to focus more on as you continue with your studies. This is particularly useful for those that are taking online courses and would have to travel some distance to go to an actual lab.
The students in Arizona State University’s BS in Biological Services online course were some of the first ones to have access to these virtual labs and they got full course credit for them. It will be available soon for students at the University of Texas at San Antonio, McMaster University as well as other institutions in North America and Europe.
You will need to have a Daydream View or the Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream to have access to the virtual labs. No news yet if you can also use other VR headsets with this later on.