INMAN — Student's eyes started to glow as they stepped into the Future Maker Mobile Learning Lab Thursday afternoon at Inman High School.
The lab, which was provided by Wichita Area Technical College, consisted of hands-on learning virtual reality gear where students tested their skills in virtual welding, painting and aircraft assembly.
"We're targeting our freshman and sophomores for this lab. We have a lot of students interested in the health and agriculture industry so this will help them either develop an interest or decide they want to go a different direction," said Gay Jordan, Kansans Kan coordinator for the Inman school district.
The lab is free for schools to participate in, due to the help from Koch Industries, Spirit, Westar and Textron.
Three stations were set up in the trailer: welding, painting and aircraft assembly.
Students used a hand-held device to guide them along for the three stations. After completing their tasks, station instructors showed the students how well they did and what they would need to do better next time.
Inside the library, ZSpace computers were set up for students to practice a three-dimensional gravity experiment. The point of the experiment was to not touch the computer screen with their pen and to get the soccer ball through the hoop while wearing 3D glasses.
The final station students were able to participate in was Ozobots, which showcased computer coding on a dry erase board where the robots followed the coding line to the finish line.
Inman High School is the first school in the area to take a look inside this trailer.
The excitement was high for students as they experienced the VR hands-on activities.
"I think any hands-on activity we can give our kids is invaluable. They're bringing in computers and simulators that there's no way a small district like ours could even imagine of owning everyday. The freshman and sophomores will get to experience things that they wouldn't normally get to. We could go to YouTube or watch movies or; we could bring in this lab. I'm excited that Kansas is stepping aboard and getting opportunities like this out to schools — it's advantageous and its an exciting step," Jordan said.
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.