Inside San Diego

Stories about City Services, Employees, Residents and Communities

Augmented Reality Promotes Learning in Science and Engineering

e3 Civic High Students Demonstrate Augmented Reality Project

Technology is taking learning to another dimension – inside and outside the classroom.

And it turns out, using augmented reality technology can increase student interest in advanced subjects, helping prepare young people for high-demand jobs of the future. A case study released on Thursday, April 28, included the results of a mobile learning project at e3 Civic High, the charter school located inside the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common.

As part of the project, sponsored by the San Diego Public Library Foundation and Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™, students used a new augmented reality app, developed by software giant Trigger, to study the design and construction of the library’s 113-foot steel lattice dome.

“It wasn’t about abstract terms, it wasn’t about reading something in a textbook, they actually got to live the experience outside with the dome overhead,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the non-profit organization that partnered with e3 Civic High to implemented the mobile learning project.

To an audience of stakeholders, executives and City leaders, the ninth grade students demonstrated how to hold their tablets over a trigger point on the ground. In response, the Augmented Reality app revealed a 3D scale representation of the Library dome on the tablet screens, to display narrative text, diagrams, charts and photographs. Each of the six sections included a quiz to assess student comprehension. According to the report, the augmented reality content was similar to what a contractor would use to visualize a building prior to construction.

According to the case study, 42 percent of students that went through the experience said they were more interested in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) career than they had previously thought. Evans said students enjoyed the interactive learning, especially the opportunity to work with their classmates to exchange ideas and discussion the content of what they were learning.

“It’s incredibly important, particularly for our young folks here at e3 Civic, to be introduced to the skills they need to compete for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who had a chance to try the Augmented Reality app for himself.