Blog Post by Mbangiso Mabaso
I am a product of public school, I completed my matric in 2008. My entire years of schooling, I never had an opportunity to utilize a science laboratory in school because there wasn’t a functional lab in my school. In what we know as lab, it was broken cupboards, no apparatus to use. According to statistics released by the department of basic education in 2015. In numbers terms, 86% of this country’s 23589 public ordinary schools do not have science labs.
Lack of this proper science facility in public schools means the majority of learners who are predominantly black will be unable to get hands-on experience in subjects like science, technology, mathematics, engineering where learning is effective when it is practical. To build a new full science lab, it will require couples of millions so we need a cost-effective solution that will be engaging, spark curiosity and easy to use for both learners and teachers.
With the new emerging technology such as smartphone, virtual and augmented reality. I believe any normal classroom can be transformed into a state of the art science lab. Already in South Africa smartphone ownership makes 60% of mobile devices, according to a digital report by We Are Social and virtual/augmented reality will give smartphones superhero powers.
Virtual reality (VR) is emerging technology that provides users with an immersive artificial environment generated by smartphone/computer. It makes the user feel as part of the experience, imagine if a learner is teleported to surface of the moon, space station, Square Kilometer Array plant or even do their experiment in a beautiful science lab with just a smartphone and specialized headset. The future is here ladies and gentleman.
Augmented reality (AR) is the sister of virtual reality, but the only difference is that is not immersive. It project computer generated 3D models on top of the surface. It was made popular by Pokemon Go. This technology will give learners a chance to manipulate and dissect objects in front of them. Both technologies have the power to improve performance is STEM-related subjects, they are very engaging. We should expect more benefits from these technologies.
Our Mission: Digitizing Science lab in order to provide access for all
We are in the mission of building a digital science lab called Si realities for schools without laboratories. This will provide thousands of learners an opportunity to do experiments they always wanted to do without any barriers. Si realities use the technology that lays digital science apparatus in front of learners meaning there is no need for the school to purchase expensive science kits. Think about Pokemon Go, instead of catching the famous Mewtwo creature Learners will be able to view the brain and dissect it in the palm of their hand. Once is launched, Si realities will be able to work on most smartphones and tablets including an entry-level smartphone with Android 4.0, so learners will be to have access during class and even after school. No more constraints to science exploration.
Why the Funding Campaign?
I’m raising R7500 to do Udacity Nano degree in Virtual and Augmented Reality. This course will give me an opportunity to improve my skills as a developer so I can be able to create wonderful science experiences for all learners. Our campaign begins R50 and it will end in April 2018, Here is the link to our campaign: https://candystick.co.za/c/enrolling-for-udacity-virtual-reality-developer-nanodegree/