Augmented Reality – 5th Grade Science

What is augmented reality?  According to the web, the definition of augmented reality is technology software that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.  So what does that mean?  Basically, augmented reality uses an image, known as a trigger image, to generate a real life example and interactive view of the original picture.

Our last unit in my 5th grade Science class was on elements.  We read about the Periodic Table in class, watched a few clips on BrainPop, and we even visited to explore various features of the Periodic Table.  However, I could tell that the topic of elements was still a foreign concept to my students.  Most 10 and 11 year olds do not spend a lot of time thinking about what elements look like.  I decided to use an augmented reality app called Elements 4-D by Daqri to enhance our learning environment.  Students were asked to download the free app on any Apple device and bring the device to class.  I created our element cubes from the handouts found on the Elements 4-D website.  Students worked together in small groups to learn more about the physical properties of each element.

Elements 4-D works like a camera.  Students take a side of the element cube and hold it under the app.  The app then transforms the trigger image into a real life picture of what the element looks like.  The students were amazed that the paper cubes they held in their hands could turn in to real life elements on the screen.  Elements that students had never heard of such as Bismuth, Beryllium, Plutonium, Rubidium, and many more were able to come alive to students!  You could hear the students say, “Wow!” or “That’s so neat!” while they were learning.

We used Elements 4-D in class a second day when we learned about compounds.  It was really neat to see elements like hydrogen and oxygen, two colorless gases, combine in front of our eyes to create water.  We also enjoyed watching Sodium, a shiny metal, and Chlorine, a green gas, combine to create a substance we are so familiar with, salt.  Having the interactive and real life images really helped the students grasp the unfamiliar concepts.

If you are interested in exploring the Elements 4-D App, simply download the app on your Apple device.  Visit the following website to print and create the cubes needed for the camera.

Element 4-D Blocks

Enjoy viewing a few pictures and a video from our lesson!

~Mrs. Shelley Greer



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