Augmented reality makes use of a webcam to superimpose animations over the world you usually experience. When the webcam sees special markers printed on paper it replaces them with a 3d model which you can move and manipulate simply my moving the piece of paper around.
Here are three augmented reality tools that would be useful for science teaching:
LearnAR is a paid-for resource produced by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, but there is a free demonstration version of their Human Organs activity on their website. This tool allows you to hold a marker in front of your chest and a see your internal organs.
Scimorph is a cute little website that uses Augmented Reality tech to provide Primary school pupils with opportunities to discuss and solve science-based problems.
Using a webcam and a special marker printed onto a piece of paper – Scimorph will appear on the screen. By moving the paper you can move him and view him from all sides. It’s a little fiddly, but persevere and it becomes quite simple. This should also work with a visualiser if you have one of those connected.
There are several scimorph zones you can investigate – The Bug Zone to look at microbes, Gravity Pulls and The Vibe Zone to investigate sound.
Each zone provides a series of questions or scenarios. Scimorph is not a complicated simulation or anything like that. The main purpose is to promote discussion between children about the science underlying the different situations.
It does provide a useful introduction to Augmented Reality technology and is worth checking out if you want to try something a little different with your class. Visit it here.
Rainforest Life / Loris the Lemur
Produced by London Zoo, Rainforest Life gives you the chance to have your very own Augmented reality lemur, Loris, sitting in the palm of your hand.
Loris doesn’t do a lot, and you can’t really interact with her. But she’s very cute.
As before, you’ll need a webcam to get this to work, and you’ll need to print out a special marker on a page for the camera to detect. Find out more here.
I’m hoping to see more examples of Augmented Reality at the BETT show next week. If I do, you’ll read all about it on this blog. Watch this space!