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  1. Jessica Ochoa Hendrix
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-ochoa-hendrix-56bb772/
  3. CEO & Co-Founder
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Killer Snails
  1. Maurice Boothe Jr.
  2. http://www.mauriceboothe.com
  3. Research Intern
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Killer Snails
  1. Corinne Brenner
  2. Director of Learning
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Killer Snails
  1. Mandë Holford
  2. https://holfordlab.com/
  3. Chief Scientific Officer/Associate Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Killer Snails, Hunter College, American Museum of Natural History
  1. Noelle Posadas
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/noelle-posadas-445a5621/
  3. Design Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Killer Snails

BioDive

NSF Awards: 1660065

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

BioDive combines virtual reality and digital journaling to enable students to experience the life of a scientist. Middle and high school students take on the role of marine biologists investigating the delicate ecosystems of venomous marine snails. Throughout their expedition, students observe, discover, and hypothesize about abiotic and biotic factors that impact marine biodiversity. The virtual reality experience can be done through webVR, needing only a web-enabled device OR with Google Cardboard, which requires a smartphone and a $15 headset.

Students work in online personalized digital science journals to takes notes about what they experienced, answer questions, develop hypotheses and construct models. Then students go to the virtual world to test their hypothesis, just like career scientists go on expeditions. When the students return from virtual reality, they show their observations, claims, reasoning and evidence.

Students’ written responses, models, and their virtual reality interactions are all updated live in a teacher dashboard so teachers can offer real-time targeted support to students. BioDive is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and has been implemented in 27 states.

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (20 posts)
  • Icon for: Jessica Ochoa Hendrix

    Jessica Ochoa Hendrix

    Lead Presenter
    CEO & Co-Founder
    May 10, 2021 | 02:36 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our BioDive video on using emerging virtual reality and digital technologies in the classroom! We are interested in bridging the research on virtual reality with classroom practices. We would like to get feedback from:

    1. Educators: How can we help you use this product in your educational venue?
    2. Researchers: We’d love your comments on merging research with practical instructional design. Can you please share any successful instances? We are particularly interested in perspective-taking in virtual reality as well as collaborative virtual reality for students in grades 6-12.
    3. All attendees: What emerging technologies you are excited to see transformed for educational use?
     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    Learning Sciences Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 08:46 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing BioDive with us (and for sharing the lesson plans in the resources section)! The video mentions that students will be introduced to a diverse group of scientists through the VR experience. Can you please say more about who the students meet along the way and how you found/chose these scientists for the experience? Along those same lines, are there extension activities or examples of how teachers can use BioDive to clear up misconceptions (like you do for science concepts) about STEM identity/equity/belonging in STEM? 

     
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    Judi Fusco
    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Noelle Posadas

    Noelle Posadas

    Co-Presenter
    Design Director
    May 11, 2021 | 01:27 p.m.

    In BioDive, students meet Dr. Mandë Holford, a marine biochemist. Dr. Holford is one Killer Snails' cofounders and studies the venom of marine snails to develop therapeutic treatments for people from the venom. Dr. Holford is a great resource for finding the diverse group of scientists we feature in Killer Snails' other educational tools. We have been very lucky to work with organizations like the Wildlife Conservation Society, American Museum of Natural History, and The Mount Sinai Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures. These partnerships have allowed us to meet an even larger pool of diverse scientists that we feature in our educational experiences. The individualized web experience that accompanies the VR and AR activities showcases a photo of the scientist, a brief bio, and a video of the work they do. 

    We love the idea of building extension activities to clear up misconceptions about identities and equities in STEM work. BioDive was our first VR project, so we really wanted to explore how to help the student feel like they could be comfortable in the role of a scientist, and that STEM is interesting and accessible to them. We haven't created any activities that clear up misconceptions yet, but it's an idea we're exploring in another project!

     
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    Maurice Boothe Jr.
  • Icon for: Karl Kosko

    Karl Kosko

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 04:38 p.m.

    Very nice project! Thank you for your work on this!

     
    2
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    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric

    Facilitator
    Postdoctoral Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 04:40 p.m.

    I have greatly enjoyed learning about BioDive and how engaging it is for the students. Very exciting work!

    I was wondering if the team has investigated enabling students to take various perspectives in VR?

    For example, having the students posit a hypothesis as a marine botanist and then as a marine biochemist. It would be interesting to afford students opportunities to wear multiple scientific hats and think about how scientists with different disciplinary interests approach research differently. This role-taking aspect might also be good for introducing a collaborative component where students take roles of different but equally important members of the research team and work together to build a holistic understanding of the phenomena.

     
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    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Noelle Posadas

    Noelle Posadas

    Co-Presenter
    Design Director
    May 12, 2021 | 10:27 a.m.

    Thank you so much for your comment and reaching out! 

    We are currently working on a new projects where students will step into the roles of a variety of scientists to learn more about the human impact on water and the impact water has on humans. We are also exploring having students take on different roles while working collaboratively together to in VR in another one of our projects!

    We love the idea of having students approach the same problem from multiple perspectives and collaborating together! This is all great to keep in mind for our future projects!

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Maurice Boothe Jr.
  • Icon for: Corinne Brenner

    Corinne Brenner

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Learning
    May 12, 2021 | 11:07 a.m.

    Just to add to Noelle's note, we're very inspired by some of the work Meredith Thompson has done examining how roles can be used in VR to promote collaboration! For example: 

    Rules , Roles, and Resources: Strategies to Promote Collaboration in Virtual Reality Contexts

     
    3
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Dalila Dragnic-Cindric
    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Suzanne Otto

    Suzanne Otto

    Facilitator
    Teacher / Fellow
    May 12, 2021 | 06:24 p.m.

    I'm only beginning to understand VR technologies and their applications in the classroom, but am excited for the possibilities that a tool like this could provide.  The interactive digital journal looks like a particularly useful tool since it helps to focus the students to LEARN the objectives vs. just play around and get lost in the game / technology.  This journal is a definite upgrade compared to less structured explorations I've seen since it focuses the students.

    Have you thought of other worlds you'd like to build?  I'm a physics and chemistry teacher and would love to see such interesting and engaging experiences outside the biology / ecology realm.

     
    2
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    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Noelle Posadas

    Noelle Posadas

    Co-Presenter
    Design Director
    May 13, 2021 | 10:26 a.m.

    We have been exploring making something more in the realm of earth science, but we would love to hear from teachers like yourself about the content you need. What do you think would make a great VR/digital journal experience for your students?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Maurice Boothe Jr.
  • Icon for: Katie O'Hara

    Katie O'Hara

    Manager, Communications
    May 13, 2021 | 04:29 p.m.

    Have you found that the headsets excite students even more about BioDive? What a cool feature to add to the program! We've found that role-playing is key in increasing students' self-efficacy! 

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noelle Posadas
    Maurice Boothe Jr.
  • Icon for: Corinne Brenner

    Corinne Brenner

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Learning
    May 13, 2021 | 10:01 p.m.

    Hi Katie, thanks for watching! The students do get excited about using the headsets, and doing something that feels like a game in school. I think you're right on about role-playing for self-efficacy -- being able to control the perspective and explore the environment, or use the virtual tools by themselves is really impactful! 

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noelle Posadas
    Maurice Boothe Jr.
  • Icon for: Joni Lakin

    Joni Lakin

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 05:59 p.m.

    This looks really cool! I love that students are actively engaged with observing. Some of the VR activities are so passive. What's the platform for this like? Did you have to work very closely with a programmer or is it something that you could slot in other topics? I can imagine adapting existing Google Explorations with some of the journaling options shown here.

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noelle Posadas
    Maurice Boothe Jr.
  • Icon for: Corinne Brenner

    Corinne Brenner

    Co-Presenter
    Director of Learning
    May 13, 2021 | 09:51 p.m.

    Hi Joni, thanks for checking it out! The platform for the VR is Unity; the students can use most modern smartphones in a cardboard viewer for the 3D version, or use a phone without a headset in a non-VR version. We do have a Unity developer on staff and this project was pretty tailored, but the idea of pulling in & adapting material is really appealing, of course!

     
    3
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noelle Posadas
    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Joni Lakin
  • May 17, 2021 | 06:49 a.m.

    What a great use of VR!  I love seeing the kids in action, looking through their viewers.  I agree with the earlier comment about the active engagement of the students.  It's so great to have them not just looking at the underwater environment, but also taking part in simulated research situations.  That certainly adds an important element and is something for us to think about as we get more and more involved with our own VR and AR projects.

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Maurice Boothe Jr.

    Maurice Boothe Jr.

    Co-Presenter
    Research Intern
    May 17, 2021 | 08:19 a.m.

    Hi, Kimberly - Thank you so much for your kind words! It was super rewarding for our team to see these students engaging with the VR. We agree that it's important that the students have the opportunity to interact with VR and AR projects beyond just observing the environment. I believe that's one of the affordances of XR that is most compelling!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Candice Woods

    Candice Woods

    Manager, Development and Partnerships
    May 17, 2021 | 09:41 a.m.

    How did you adapt using AR/VR technology during the pandemic?

     
    2
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Maurice Boothe Jr.
    Noelle Posadas
  • Icon for: Noelle Posadas

    Noelle Posadas

    Co-Presenter
    Design Director
    May 17, 2021 | 10:28 a.m.

    The major changes we made during the pandemic was to make our experiences work in WebVR. With WebVR students can use any device with a web browser. Students no longer need a VR headset and can instead play in a first person virtual environment on a desktop, chomebook, laptop, or tablet. This made BioDive more widely available to students remotely attending classes at home. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Maurice Boothe Jr.
  • Icon for: Valerie Fitton-Kane

    Valerie Fitton-Kane

    Vice President, Development, Partnerships, & Strategy
    May 18, 2021 | 01:26 p.m.

    Great video! How are you scaling the program? Are you marketing to schools, teachers, parents, and/or informal education institutions? 

  • Icon for: Noelle Posadas

    Noelle Posadas

    Co-Presenter
    Design Director
    May 18, 2021 | 02:14 p.m.

    All of the above! BioDive is now available for purchase with a complete lesson guide for schools, teachers, parents, and informal educators. You can visit our site to learn more https://www.killersnails.com/collections/frontp...

  • May 18, 2021 | 07:39 p.m.

    Thanks for the link to the curriculum!

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