Elizabethton High School has new virtual reality lab to start the new school year

John Thompson • Updated Jul 31, 2019 at 10:55 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Just in time for the new school year, Elizabethton High School has a new virtual reality and augmented reality lab.

Vince Jordan, an employee of Loboki Inc. of Jackson, Mississippi, completed the installation of the new lab on Wednesday evening. He said Elizabethton’s lab is the eighth installed by the company and the first in Tennessee. But he said the pace is quickening, and the company will soon have 17 virtual reality academies completed in five states.

Elizabethton High School teacher Jason Clevinger wrote the standards and curriculum for the new lab, which is in his classroom. He also helped with Wednesday’s installation, while his sons Jakob and Lukas got to be among the first to try the new equipment.

Jordan said the lab is meant for young people like Jakob and Lukas to get a head start in what will be a rapidly growing field.

“This is where the Internet was in the ’90s and where cell phones were in the early 2000s,” Jordan said. He said the experience gained by the students in the lab will be very helpful to those who choose to continue in that cutting edge technology.

Jordan and Clevinger said the lab is not just valuable for those in technology and computer science. The virtual reality helps make difficult concepts more understandable, as the students see these complex structures in three dimensions and moving through time.

“Kudos to the teachers,” Jordan said.

Jordan said teachers are just learning how to use this new technology to provide deeper understanding of complex and difficult concepts like cell structures and parts of the body.

He said biology teachers are learning how to provide their students with an “up close and personal meeting with mitochondrial DNA, and just a while ago, I didn’t even know what mitochondrial was.”

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