Inspiration

At the XR EDU hackathon, teams were tasked to develop educational projects utilizing mixed reality technologies. This simulation, Chem EQ Sim 2018, allows STEM students an opportunity to use a model to demonstrate how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction. Therefore they are able to directly observe how mass is conserved.

What It Does

Chem EQ Sim 2018 gives players a selection of equations describing a common chemical reactions--in each round, a specific equation is selected. Players pull molecules from the right (reactants) side of the equation, then free the component atoms by breaking the bonds connecting them. The atoms, thus freed, can be dragged and recombined into new molecules on the left (products) side of the equation. Each round of play ends when there are an equal number of each type of atom on each side of the equation.

How I built it

The game was built with unity for the Oculus Rift for ease of testing, with plans to later port the game to Oculus Go. However we learned that the Rift would lend itself better to a learning environment because more than just the user would be able to see what was happening in the game.

Challenges I ran into

The game was designed with the intention of running on the Oculus Go and there is not an easy way to test apps or games directly on the device. To test any app or game would require building the application and transferring it to the device where no debug lines would be visible making testing very difficult.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Accomplished the majority of the goals we set out to achieve in the beginning of the XR Edu hackathon. Got positive feedback form the end user during development which helped us create a more complete and user friendly experience.

What I learned

Visual impact increases the engagement with the applications (explosions!). Virtual reality allows for a more interactive learning model. Similar models have shown increased learning retention in students over currently implemented models.

What's next for Chem Eq Sim '18

Developing a method to create new molecules specified by the user that can be created at runtime and shared with the community. More specific explosions for chemical interactions. More gratifying and obvious victory sequence when the user has completed the current equation. More accessible to differently-abled users.

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