Wrightstown students exploring the world from their classroom

Wrightstown Elementary School students use virtual reality kits donated by Cellcom
Wrightstown Elementary School students use virtual reality kits donated by Cellcom

WRIGHTSTOWN, Wis. (WBAY) – Third graders at Wrightstown Elementary School are traveling around the world and back in time, all from the comfort of their classroom.

Students in Mrs. Zwicky’s third grade class in Wrightstown are very busy exploring.

“You can find dinosaurs and what they look like,” says Lucas Weise-Vetter.

Theo Van Rossum adds, “There’s one that I went to where the king and queen have their feast.”

Those are just some of the adventures they’ve taken as part of Cellcom’s virtual reality kits program launched this school year. The kits, which are on loan to Wrightstown for two weeks, include 25 smartphones and 25 cardboard virtual reality viewers.

Tammy VanDenBusch from Cellcom says, “We know it’s difficult for school districts to fund every technology need and want that they have, so as we started seeing these Google cardboard readers, virtual reality viewers, we just saw an opportunity to give these to teachers and see what they could do with them.”

With the phones in hand, the students have downloaded virtual reality apps and by using the cardboard readers are able to travel to places, to
experience adventures they could have only imagined in the past.

Sienna Stautz is one of the students using the kit. She says, “You can go to places, like anywhere and then knowing that you’re not there just make it really cool because you’re far away and then you’re right here.”

The virtual field trips give students a feeling that they’re really flying an airplane or riding a roller coaster or visiting the Eiffel Tower, helping to teach them about places that they’ll want to explore in depth more.

“The lesson that they’re working on right now is actually writing for stories. They’re getting background information, they’re going to make a narrative with wherever they are in the world. They’re going to create a story with this as their setting,” says DeeDee Zwicky.

And hopefully as they grow older, according to Mrs. Zwicky, maybe someday these students will get to explore some of their destinations in person.