Oregon teens use virtual reality to teach peers about agriculture

Oregon teens use virtual reality to teach peers about agriculture

It can be a challenge for many young people to feel connected to agriculture. As fewer and fewer Americans live in rural areas — much less on farms — and the agriculture industry faces an aging crisis, youth increasingly lack important awareness of where the food and fiber they depend on comes from.

Technology often can help young people understand concepts. With modern virtual reality capabilities, Oregon State University Extension personnel helped teens find a way to immerse their peers in a simulated farm environment to learn about agroecology, aquaculture, dairy farming, rangeland and cattle, and equestrian farms.

Through the DIVE4Ag Teens as Teachers initiative — the acronym stands for Distant Immersive Virtual Education — the youths developed an open-source distance education toolkit for students and educators. They brought an animated bee to life with cartoon-like voices they recorded, selected 360-degree imagery to represent high-level agricultural concepts and filmed videos using hologram technology.

Not only will their app help teach fellow teens about the value of agriculture, the DIVE4Ag participants also learned skills in technology, teamwork and teaching.

Link to full statement on website: http://landgrantimpacts.tamu.edu/impacts/show/6059