OneNet Intern Transforms Bioscience Teaching with Augmented Reality
OneNet’s augmented reality intern Evan Barreiro is helping a MetroTech instructor revolutionize her bioscience lessons.
Evan Barreiro is a junior studying Game Design and Animation at Oklahoma City University (OCU) under professor Jeff Price, the founder of the program. OCU’s Game Design and Animation program is a four-year B.A. program with courses in graphic design, design for video games and movies, 3-D modeling and more.
When asked why he chose to establish the program at OCU, Price said, “There is a growing industry in Oklahoma involving real-time game technology. At OCU, we saw a need to train students not only in video game design, but practical applications in industry such as visualization (virtual reality/augmented reality), industrial virtual training, animation, and new methods in education.”
Price felt that a specific game design program was needed at OCU because traditional graphic design programs do not provide the specific coursework needed to work in game design. “There is a very robust pipeline to learning to make virtual experiences and games,” said Price. “A traditional graphic design program wouldn’t include game theory and history, motion capture, topology, map baking and texturing, etc. All of these are needed for a good experience in game design.”
In his internship with OneNet, Barreiro is working on several augmented reality (AR) projects, which use computer-generated images to simulate interactive, immersive environments. One of these projects is a collaboration with Metro Technology Centers instructor Karen Upton. Upton, a teacher for MetroTech’s Biosciences Academy, asked OneNet to create an AR experience that would make her biology lessons more interactive and engaging for the students.
Upton specifically requested a DNA model that demonstrates the molecules and their structures. She also asked that the DNA structure be interactive to allow students to zip and unzip the DNA strand through different strokes on the screen.
The AR experience will allow students to click on a DNA molecule and manipulate it to better understand the way it works. The AR experience is one of the latest developments in OneNet’s Next Generation Classroom initiative. The initiative seeks to implement new technologies in Oklahoma’s classrooms to advance STEM learning. Once complete, the educational AR experiences will be offered to Oklahoma teachers at no cost.
The Next Generation Classroom is one of OneNet Executive Director Vonley Royal’s passions. “The current education system is undergoing a digital transformation,” Royal said. “Implementing emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality creates an immersive, stimulating environment that students thrive in.”
By providing educators with the tools they need to transform their classrooms, OneNet is advancing technology across Oklahoma.
Story by Abbey Wood, OneNet Strategic Communications Intern Spring 2020
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