Pardes Jewish Day School Selected For National Virtual Reality zSpace Mobile Classroom Tour

October 31, 2018- The technology experience at Pardes Jewish Day School just got even more exciting!   On October 31st, the zSpace Mobile Classroom Tour bus rolled onto the school’s campus. Inside this unique and exhilarating environment, students were introduced to the intoxicating world of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), as they interacted with virtual objects in simulated environments.

Equipped with zSpace glasses and a special stylus, students explored and manipulated 3D objects as they virtually lifted off computer screens. Among the experiences, they were able to peel away the layers to study the intricacies of the human eye, dissect a beluga whale, discover the chemical properties of acetaminophen, and explore the complexities of a synapse and the human digestive system.  

“Learning from a picture in a textbook is so limiting,” emphasized  Middle School Science teacher David Rivas. “But this is multi-dimensional in a way that takes learning to a whole new level, a bridge between the old way of learning and the future.  Students who weren’t even interested in certain topics suddenly became fascinated by them.”

The system offers many unique capabilities. Students can view all phases of a building from blueprints through construction, allowing them to  import their personal computer-aided designs (CAD) and watch them spring to life. They can create slides for 3D presentations and even use the leopoly  application to sculpt their own 3D models which they can  print on the 3D printers in our Makerspace.

Each class engaged in a 20 minute session, sampling from hundreds of educational software applications with thousands of models in the sciences, mathematics, the arts, geography, language and literature, and more.  “It was one of the best things we’ve done all year”, expressed several second graders. Classmates chimed in with comments like “I loved it”, “it was very, very cool”, and “I loved the 3D”.

The zSpace Mobile Classroom Tour was an opportunity afforded to only seven Arizona schools, as it makes its way around the country.  Thanks to CCS Presentation Systems, Pardes was the only one selected for a full day, enabling every student to participate.

zSpace is a perfect example of the programs Pardes continues to explore as a future ready school dedicated to hands-on learning. Its STEAM based applications provide access to revolutionary classroom VR/AR experiences that provide “kinesthetic realism without worrying about making a wrong incision, blowing things up, or making a mess”.

Pardes and zSpace are aligned in their missions of being “interactive, intuitive, collaborative and transformational”. “We were so excited to be able to provide the zSpace experience for all of our students,” says Peter Gordon, Head of School. “As a virtual reality learning environment, we are able to provide our students with lifelike experiences while inspiring their curiosity, strengthening their engagement in class and deepen their understanding of the material. It is truly a game changer for schools”