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Los Altos School District Students Engage in Immersive Learning With Interactive 3D Learning Stations from zSpace, Inc.

Along with the Los Altos School District, we are excited to officially announce a pilot program in STEM education that will bring immersive 3D learning stations to students at Covington, Santa Rita, Gardner Bullis and Springer schools.

Continuing a collaboration that began in October 2011, we’re partnering to develop and implement STEM learning tools in earth, space, physical, and life sciences for students in third through eighth grade. zSpace enabled STEM labs accelerate the learning process through interactive 3D visualization. Students can intuitively interact with virtual environments to discover concepts, such as the complexity of human anatomy or the components of a simple engine, in ways often impractical or impossible in the real world — maximizing the level of their engagement as the sciences come to life. After using zSpace to explore volcanoes, a student reflected, “I went inside the volcano where all the lava was. That is something I will never forget!”

Fifth grade students at Covington and Santa Rita Schools were the first to implement the STEM stations through a virtual hands-on lab on the circulatory system. They will be joined by Springer and Gardner Bullis Elementary School students studying ancient civilizations, robotics and life sciences in grades 3 through 6 as well as Egan and Blach Junior High Schools before the school year ends in June.

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“LASD is passionate about providing the best education possible for our students – one that shapes them into creative thinkers and collaborative problem solvers,” said Jeffrey Baier, Superintendent of Los Altos School District. “We understand that each student has a unique way of learning, this is especially true in abstract and complex topics such as chemistry or microbiology. With zSpace, we are working to make learning and applying STEM concepts engaging for all our students.”

STEM Coach Karen Wilson describes a recent classroom unit with zSpace on the heart and cardiovascular system:  Seeing the heart and its functionality in 3D offered students a more realistic view versus seeing pictures in a textbook or watching a video online. They learned not just the parts of the heart, but understood the purpose of heart valves by viewing the heart from all sides, inside and out. In a 3D reality, students are able to virtually dissect the heart and carefully examine each part. One student reflected, “We got to see inside the human heart. You could feel the heart beating and put a camera through the heart. It was AWESOME!”

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No stranger to advanced technology, LASD is in its fourth year of utilizing Khan Academy as an instructional tool to differentiate instruction in mathematics and science by creating blended learning environments where students have access to high quality technological resources. LASD continues to pursue innovative learning opportunities for students; the partnership with zSpace aligns with the district vision to “revolutionize learning for all students.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with Los Altos School District to test educational software applications and explore new ways to integrate lifelike 3D experiences into teaching and learning,” said Paul Kellenberger, CEO of zSpace. “Combining zSpace with STEM curricula will create entirely new forms of learning, teaching, and communicating in today’s world. Partnerships with nationally-recognized innovators like LASD are critical to expanding visual and kinesthetic learning opportunities for students, and ultimately increasing learning outcomes for every child.”

To see the pilot program in action, visit www.YouTube.com/zSpaceLASD.

About Los Altos School District

Los Altos School District operates seven elementary and two junior high schools and is a top-rated school district in the State of California. LASD serves more than 4500 K-8 students from portions of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and Palo Alto. All nine schools in the district have been California Distinguished Schools and/or National Blue Ribbon Schools. LASD is nationally-recognized for its many educational innovations and awards. Read more about LASD programs at iLearn Blogspot and follow on Twitter @lasdk8.

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