Tuesday, September 24, 2013

zSpace Opens Our Minds

In the world of education we have those moments which are absolutely amazing, and then there are those that are beyond words. These are the moments when all the obstacles in front of a student are broken down, and seem to fade away.  When the opportunities in the world are endless, achievable, and within reach. Today we had our minds "blown," and our horizons expanded. We met a new technology called zSpace that for a moment made us feel like real scientist, and learning was a totally new concept.  

3D view I took through the glasses.

zSpace is an interactive 3D technology, which allows students to wear a set of glasses and hold a pen to look at objects in 3D. They are able to turn the object, dissect it, pull it apart, twist it in all directions and look inside. The zSpace representative graciously came to visit all the way from California. She was a contact made through my husband, Gavin Gardner. Gavin is the Director of the medical simulation lab at Des Moines University. zSpace was presenting last month at DMU, and Gavin knew I would love to have my students experience this unique tool in learning. So, with a little conversation, and hardly any convincing needed, this company representative agreed to visit. She drove a few hours out of the way to give a presentation she usually shares at the collegiate level with the fourth and fifth grade.

There were many amazing discoveries being made, and the excitement level was contagious. The comments and reactions were so empowering. The students walked into the room a kiddo in small town Iowa, slipped on a pair of glasses and transformed into real world scientists. The faces and smiles were priceless.  Each of the students had the chance to maneuver, dissect, "hold," and learn about the heart, brain, skeleton, and skull.  They walked into school today as fourth graders, and cardiologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists, and scientists. But enough talk...enjoy the pictures and the quotes for they really show what it means to embrace zSpace. 


Our first guinea pig, Mason Shepherd
with Mom/ Principal Cindy Shepherd

" I am going to leave Santa extra milk and cookies so I can get one of these 3D things for Christmas." 
Superintendent, Joel Pedersen trying out the technology.
Mrs. Gardner may have a new calling.
" If I picked up one more part time job I could afford one of these for my classroom! " 

Reece twisting his learning.

"Fascinating! It is a cool tool because you can learn about the heart."
Spencer and Grant engaged in zSpace technology.

" I am a real scientist, and I can bebox too." 
Konnor is excited. 

 " I am going to tell my mom all about this. We have to get one." 

Grant inspecting his work.

"We really need one of these in the fourth grade. It would help us learn."

Riley dissecting the heart.

"This is the coolest way to learn."

Corbin sectioning the heart into pieces.
"I liked z space because it was 3D and you could move it."
 "I think I am going to be a doctor someday."
Matthew is putt it all back together again.

"I felt like a real scientist."
Olivia learning what the pieces look like all alone. 

"That was so much fun, and I learned a lot too."

Josie happily spinning the view of the heart.

"The heart colors were pretty."

Dylan looking pretty cool as he sections the heart. 
 "Yeah, I could learn like that everyday."

Griffin really getting into it. 

"That was so neat."

Johnny processing the sections.
"It is a good learning system because it shows the human body system."

"It really made me feel like a scientist, and I never wanted to stop."

Alita...look at that smile... no other explanation needed. 

"I wonder if I could dissect a butterfly like this."

Sydney playing with the heart.

"This was really cool because it taught you about something we are already going to study, but in a fun way."

Tristin working to see the underside of the heart. 
 "I really liked it."

Jocelyn flipping it over. 

Damean checking out the brain. 
"Maybe I will be a brain surgeon when I grow up."

Hunter flipping the brain to see what is underneath.

"Taking apart the pieces of the brain was the best part because it taught me how I use my brain to think. "

Lucas the neurosurgeon. 
"I got to hold a brain today, and that is pretty cool."

Carrye "holding" the frontal lobe. 
 "I wish the Kunos had this on them. I got to hold a frontal lobe today."

Gavin grasping the brain. 

"You can take it apart and see all the pieces."

Cameron checking out the new technology.
Mrs. Mills viewing the heart. 
Ian...the whole brain in his hands. He's got the whole brain in his hands. 
"My favorite part was when I got to move the brain. It was so cool!!

Allie having fun with the heart...heart breaker? :)

 "My friends and I had fun looking at it." 
Sophie - loving the look on her face. 

"I liked that they color coded it because that made it stand out. I felt like I could touch it, and I could look inside and see some cells."

Dayne really checking it out for himself. 

Judy is enjoying herself.

"i think it would be cool if we had z-space computers."

Jody learning to maneuver the mind. 

We can learn about brains and hearts."

Allison ... Don't you just love that smile. 
"I liked that it was in 3D! I think it would help us learn. It helped me understand it. It was cool to take it apart. I think it helped me pay attention. "

Lyle - Mr. Serious... Dr. Lyle in the future.

"I wish we had one of these for the Kunos."

James enjoying his turn. 
"I want this on the computers so we can dissect the brain."
Michael...cardiologist in the making. 
"I am glad we got to try it. I think z-space technology would be a powerful learning tool in class . It would be cool to have . I want one. "
Madison learning awe

"Someday I will be a nurse and this will help me learn better."

Blaine enjoying the excitement. 
"Everybody should be able to use it once in their life!"

Peyton our class surgeon. 
 "It was a powerful learning tool because it was 3D, and when you pulled it out it looked like you could touch it." 
Maddy is thinking hard. 
 "It was really awesome, but also a little gross because it looked real." 

Carson making discoveries.

"They had lots of cool stuff there; it was cool. It looked so real."

Daniel...first day at Cardinal and look what he gets to do. This will be hard to top.

"The reason it is a good learning tool is because it let you see what is inside a brain."

Morgan dissecting the brain. 
Logan picking the mind.

"I think zSpace would be a good learning center because you could learn about human parts in 3D."

Araceli is focused.
It was amazing when it was like right In my own HAND!!! When I grow up I want to be a doctor because we can all learn all about the different kinds of cells and other kinds of cool things that we don't know about yet. 

Bailey dissecting his way through the human body.

"I like to learn about human body system."

Jenika moving her picture.
" The heart and the brain are fun to look at." 

Fascinated teachers learning too!

"We have to get one of these. This is absolutely amazing. "


Evelyn has this down to a "science."

Chris the scientist

Maya Angelou