There's a brand new online tool that will teach your kids chemistry, and they'll actually enjoy it. MEL Chemistry VR offers free virtual reality chemistry lessons that help kids learn science by experiencing it... virtually.
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The MEL Chemistry VR app features a virtual chemistry lab with 150 lessons and tests covering the main K-12 chemistry curriculum. The app is available for Google Daydream, Google's virtual reality headset. You can purchase Google Daydream here for $79. (It's also available at lots of other retailers).
Here's how it works:
The first lessons will teach kids basic chemistry concepts, like the difference between solids and gases, the structure of an atom, what an electron orbital is, and what an isotope is. Students will also have the opportunity to build an atom with their own hands.
"Yes, VR can be used to simulate a real lab. So instead of using real chemicals, test tubes, and burners, you use virtual ones," said Vassili Philippov, CEO of MEL Science. "However, this is not where VR can bring the most value to science education. Real hands-on experiments are more engaging for kids. Nothing can replace the feeling of doing something yourself. You see science. You touch science. You smell science. Where VR is irreplaceable is in showing kids invisible science, such as placing them inside a chemical reaction, where molecules fly all around them and they see how those molecules interact with each other. We can let kids play with atomic orbitals and encourage them to touch the orbitals, build their own atoms and molecules, and see what happens."
The free version of the MEL Chemistry VR app containing the first six lessons is available for download here.