Virtual reality in teaching natural sciences – critical consideration

Type of document: Article / Publication

Country of origin: Greece

Issuing body/Authors: University of Thessaly

CT: VR FOCUS: Formal education

Short description

The public University of Thessaly has developed a number of Virtual Reality applications, solely for educational purposes. The three main applications are the following:


  • V-Laser: The V-Laser application was developed with university students in mind. Its main subject is the physics of lasers. Users are able to examine the parts that compose a laser device, proceed with putting them together in order to create the device, use it, and study the results.
  • Lake Project: The Lake Project is addressed to high school students, and is related to the eutrophication of the lakes. The user is initially introduced to an Environmental Information Center, and after they have acquired the respective knowledge via presentations, comic books etc., they enter 3 Virtual environments, through which they explore the bottom of a lake. Through that process the users become familiar with the changes that different levels of pollution, bring.
  • Plant Cell: Plant Cell is a VR application, also focused on high school students. Its subject is the structure of a plant cell, and the photosynthesis process in general. The application consists of 2 parts. In the 1st part, the user enters a Virtual plant cell, and is able to explore its structure. The user can witness all the procedures that take place between the micro particles. In the 2nd part, the user is able to enter a chloroplast, and has to find the elements that are essential for the process of photosynthesis and proceed with completing it.


Elements of innovation

The University of Thessaly develops applications that allow students to enter Virtual worlds and educate themselves on matters that otherwise, would be difficult to catch their attention. Through the VR applications, users are able to enter interactive micro-worlds, and become engaged with their aspects.


Target groups

  • University and high school students