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Virtual reality introduced to classrooms as fun, informative way to learn

HOUSTON – Imagine walking on Mars to understand the planet’s terrain or swimming through your body to see the effects of your diet choices. Virtual reality technology is making it possible. 

"It was actually cool. I was flying and which ones are better.  What kind of veg should I eat,” said Sharpstown Senior Jhoan Castano.  He used something called “Sugar Goggles” to take a flight through the human body. It is a virtual reality game that helped him understand good food choices.  The non-profit Healthcorps worked with Atkins Nutritionals to bring the high-tech tool into schools. 

Jennifer Livingston of Atkins Nutritionals said, "When you put those goggles on, you're in a 360-degree environment.  You can turn, you can go up and down. You're fully immersed."

This educational application is not alone. 

NASA uses virtual reality, with the help of Microsoft and its “Hololens”, to virtually explore the surface of Mars using images gathered by rovers.

Fred Calef, a geologist, with the Mars Curiosity mission said, “It's like you're not in the room anymore.  You are on Mars.  Short of having com channels checking in with Houston or the front panel of an astronaut's helmet, it's like being there."

Using the technology, scientists could stand up, walk around and explore Mars in a 3-D holographic world.  The technology brings the flat photos to life. 

Back in the classroom, virtual reality helped students make real life decisions about what’s for dinner!

Castano said, "I learned that it's better if I eat healthy. You got more power."