Day 6 is Club day at Durham Academy Middle School. Mr. Schaefer, Mrs. Schwartz, Mrs. Williams, and Mrs. Donnelly offer a Coding Club where students learn how to use code, write code, and create interactive experiences.
Yesterday, Stephen Allison from zSpace gave us the opportunity to play and learn using a virtual reality station. We got to take apart a motor, hold a virtual butterfly, and see inside a heart.
“The zSpace System comes with a high definition stereoscopic display. It rendering full resolution images for your eyes and tracking your head movements to create a smooth parallax experience.” http://zspace.com
I was curious about parallax. Just in case you are too, here is what Wikipedia reveals: Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines.
Students put on the glasses, picked up the stylus, and with minimal guidance from Mr. Allison were able to manipulate the tools with ease. I even got in on the game. We took layers off, labeled parts, and felt the heart beat through the stylus. We could reach out and “touch” the things we were viewing. Of course I inquired about Language Arts applications, and they are in the works. Can you imagine a 3D reading experience?
This year’s 6th graders are currently working on their ideas worth sharing. We want to congratulate our own Durham Academy 7th grader, Casey Carrow, who shared “What is Happening to Trees?” last year in our Language Arts class. Casey believed in a cause, took action, and shared her idea with the world. Please take a moment to watch and comment on Casey’s talk here: http://blog.ed.ted.com/2015/02/20/ted-ed-club-friday-3/
We began the year with Camp Cheerio in western, North Carolina where we explored, challenged ourselves, and pushed limits. On the last day of school, facilitators from Triangle Training Center came to do some collaborative closing activities with our advisory groups. Most of you are a little taller, a whole lot smarter, and of course all of you are ready for summer!
Remember that practice makes permanent and when things are tough, smile and say, “How fascinating!” Spend some time this summer reading what YOU want to read, write down your crazy ideas, add to your Life List, and try something new. Most importantly, enjoy being in the moment with those you love. Finally, take time to be still and see what you notice.