LA PUENTE, CA – Van Wig Elementary School third-grader Bryan Marquez felt the stylus in his hand vibrate to the beat of a human heart as he used the pen on Sept. 29 to dissect a 3D heart displayed on a specialized monitor provided by zSpace’s virtual reality mobile classroom.

“It was cool feeling the heart beat in the pen,” Bryan, 8, said. “I liked learning about the heart and taking it apart.”

Marquez was among more than 300 Van Wig students to take turns journeying through augmented reality environments throughout the day. The students wore specialized glasses that allowed them to explore 3D environments, such as a caterpillar’s life cycle, and used styluses to dissect a human head, heart and torso.

Fourth-grade teacher Shirley Burns collaborated with zSpace to bring the virtual reality mobile classrooms to Van Wig as a way for students to use the most advanced technology to expand their understanding on what they could do with science.

“This was a great opportunity for our students to see how technology can be applied in the classroom,” Burns said. “It gives them exposure to a variety of science subjects and different natural environments without leaving their campus.”

A specialized monitor followed sensors on each user’s glasses to ensure that the augmented reality space aligned with the student’s perspective. Students controlled movement and actions on the screen with their styluses, including pulling butterflies and brains out of the monitor to hold in their hands.

“Thank you to zSpace for increasing our students’ curiosity in technology and science,” Bassett Unified Superintendent Dr. Alex Rojas said. “This was an incredible event for our students to become more excited about what they’re learning.”


101116_BASSETT_ZSPACE1: A Van Wig Elementary student dissects a human torso and places the lungs on his own body while exploring science and technology in virtual reality on Sept. 29.

101116_BASSETT_ZSPACE2: A trio of Van Wig Elementary students take a house apart and learn about its different sections during a virtual reality mobile classroom event on Sept. 29.