Irvine, CA (December 7, 2022) – Irvine International Academy (IIA) announced the implementation of an augmented reality technology lab and curriculum that will be utilized by all students in the K-6 Mandarin Immersion and STEAM charter school. IIA is one of the only schools in the region utilizing this technology to help educate K-6 students.
The augmented reality materials and equipment from zSpace use AR technology that allows educators and students to interact and manipulate virtual objects in an innovative 360-degree screen projecting experience. Whether it’s virtually exploring the human body, exploring space or dissecting a frog, the augmented reality technology allows students to view real-world applications of what they’re learning.
The zSpace curriculum will feature lessons and experiences for each grade level of the school’s K-6 community. Each zSpace learning station features a laptop with reflector tracking points, a sensor module and a stylus that allows students to learn STEAM subjects using immersive images they can move and manipulate.
The augmented reality program of studies will be guided by Irvine International Academy STEAM teacher Parisa Geshti, who has been teaching science-related curriculum for 7 years and has a Multiple-Subject credential from Concordia University, Irvine.
“At Irvine International Academy we believe that our students should get nothing but the best – in teachers, in technology and in educational enrichment,” said Dr. Stefan Bean, Executive Director, Irvine International Academy. “This augmented reality technology will take our students to heights and places they could have never dreamed of. These technology improvements and advancements that we continue to implement also further our belief that we are the premier STEAM charter school in Southern California.”
Recent research has suggested that these emerging technologies can help improve educational and social-emotional learning for any type of student. Another benefit of augmented reality technology is teachers and students can engage with subjects and material that might be too difficult to interact with otherwise.
The augmented reality curriculum also falls in line with Irvine International Academy’s continued focus on STEAM education and project-based learning for all its students. Already this school year, IIA students have performed exceptionally well in both science and math CAASPP test scores, with 84.6% of students meeting or exceeding standards in science and 82.7% meeting or exceeding standards in math. Those percentages of scores would rank 1st and 2nd, respectively, among Irvine Unified School District K-8 schools.
More important, the use of this unique technology furthers the Academy’s priority to prepare its students to be “global citizens” and equip them with the essential skills needed to thrive not just in the United States, but internationally.
The purchase of the zSpace equipment was made possible in large part due to a $77,000 grant awarded by the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation, which supports educational institutions and programs that are creative, innovative, efficient and have an impact on the future of their communities.