The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on people all over the world. It has affected the education of more than 300 million students around the world. Schools and colleges haven't been subjected to such widespread destruction in decades, but unlike in the past, we now have the opportunity and the tools to resume schooling. But online school can be stressful. Young kids especially are more prone to get distracted easily since they are not used to learning in a closed space. Sometimes the kids have the opportunity to go on field trips to learn more about what they are learning, but in this time and year, travelling is unsafe. This is why we have decided to come up with VRTrip. To make learning fun for kids and help them feel like they are not always at home, students may engage with what they see in a virtual reality environment as if they were really there. With VRTrip, students have the opportunity to stimulate their creativity, ignite their imaginations and learn about certain things that pertain to what they are learning. VRTrip provincial park is based on the Banff provincial park to teach students about the ecosystem.
What it does
VRTrip allows kids to experience going on virtual field trips. The virtual reality environment enhances student learning experience and assists children in solving challenges they encounter in the real world. The students get to learn about the habitat of different animals.
How we built it
We built VRTrip using a cross-platform gaming engine, Unity to create the vision of VRTrip. The languages we mostly used was C#. Since we did not have access to a headset such as an Oculus, we used Unity's MockHMD that acts as a headset to make us run the game in VR. However, the game is fully compatible with an Oculus headset. We encourage users to use VRTrip using an Oculus to get the best VR experience.
Challenges we ran into
One of the main challenges for building this project was not having a VR set readily available for use. Testing without the use of a VR set was a handful as it did not showcase the true feel of a VR experience. The next challenge we faced was unity constantly crashing. At the end we had re-create a new project from scratch to mitigate the constant crashing unity was experiencing. In addition to unity crashing, github was also not allowed to push to origin which was frustrating so we decided to manually upload our project on github.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We hope to create more worlds instead of just one world for the children. Since VRTrip's purpose is to bring field trips closer to you, we hope to bring in more destinations to VRTrip and more information for the kids to learn and have fun with.
What we learned
We learned how to use Loom to edit the videos and make professional presentations. We also learned how to use MockHMD in Unity to be able to test our VR game without a headset.
What's next for VRTrip
We want to work more on VRTrip to add more locations in Canada that students can visit using VRTrip.