Glendale Community College (GCC) in Arizona will soon open its Virtual Reality Center in 2024. This innovative facility is the result of a two-year collaboration between GCC and Dreamscape Learn, a joint venture between Arizona State University (ASU) and DreamWorks Motion Pictures. The main objective of this initiative is to provide immersive learning opportunities for college and high school students, revolutionizing their engagement with scientific concepts and subjects.
Located at GCC’s Verdugo Campus, the Virtual Reality Center will be part of an “innovation alley” alongside the planetarium and the new science building. This strategic placement will create a focal point for technological advancement and academic excellence, empowering students to explore the forefront of knowledge.
Dreamscape Learn was made possible through a generous $4.5 million grant secured by state Sen. Anthony Portantino. This funding will support a five-year pilot program showcasing the use and benefits of virtual reality (VR) in science classes, creative pursuits, and immersive education.
By incorporating Dreamscape’s immersive biology lab curriculum into their coursework, GCC students will have the unprecedented opportunity to explore the intricacies of biology. A study by ASU found that students who participated in the VR lab were twice as likely to achieve an “A” on assignments compared to their peers in traditional wet lab settings. This improvement underscores the effectiveness of VR-based education in enhancing academic performance.
GCC takes great pride in being the first community college in the country to integrate VR-enabled instruction into introductory science courses. This forward-thinking approach sets a new standard for science education, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed for success in academia and the workforce.
Recognizing the immense potential of VR in education, ASU has decided to transition all of its introductory biology wet labs to the Dreamscape lab. This move further solidifies the credibility and reliability of VR-based learning, establishing it as a pivotal tool for fostering student achievement.
The benefits of the Virtual Reality Center will also extend to dual-enrollment students from Glendale Unified School District high schools. The partnership between GCC and Dreamscape Learn aims to offer immersive learning experiences to local high school students, giving them a head start in their academic journey.
Moreover, GCC will have access to Dreamscape Learn’s tools, enabling the creation of new immersive environments in various academic programs such as architecture and history. This integration of VR technology will expand education horizons, fostering creativity and critical thinking among students.
Glendale Community College has always been a leader in preparing students for academic and workforce success. The establishment of the Virtual Reality Center is a testament to their commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of traditional education.
With the Virtual Reality Center set to open in 2024, GCC is ready to usher in a new era of science education. By harnessing the power of VR, students will be fully immersed in captivating cinematic narratives that fuel motivation and persistence. Through this transformative approach, GCC aims to inspire a new generation of scientists, thinkers, and innovators.
As the world embraces technological advancements, integrating VR in education becomes increasingly crucial. Glendale Community College’s partnership with Dreamscape Learn and the upcoming Virtual Reality Center represents a remarkable step towards preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the future. Through immersive experiences and cutting-edge technology, GCC is shaping the minds of tomorrow, ensuring they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.