Technology Grant Proposal

Brian CdeBaca’s multimedia grant proposal presentation for Sachse High School to purchase a Virtusphere for STEM courses.

Virtusphere Grant Proposal Brief

Sachse High School seeks to increase interest and enrollment in STEM courses, cross-curriculum development, and physical fitness by purchasing a Virtusphere, which is designed to immerse users in virtual 3-D environments ranging from cell structures, the circulatory system, geographic locations, and virtual buildings with Sachse High School students creating the virtual environments because there is a growing demand within the US for science, technology, engineering, and math students to compete in our global economy.  The Virtusphere is a 10’x10’ circular sphere allowing students to walk, run, and jump unimpeded in a 3-D virtual environment.  The Virtusphere may also be used for gaming and entertainment which will indirectly excite students about STEM careers through fun and dynamic environments.

The 21st century brings challenges to the way students learn, and the focus will be on creating student opportunities for constructing and exploring real-world environments.  Sachse High School strives to be a leader in not only Garland ISD, but also the state of Texas, and the United States in the number of students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses.  The competitiveness of our global society is creating a need for educators to find lessons and courses which will immerse students in STEM environments.  The overall purpose of this grant is to increase students’ interest in STEM careers, and provide a learning opportunity that replicates real-world applications.  According to the National Math and Science Initiative, there is a need to develop higher-order thinking skills needed for students to stay globally competitive throughout the 21st century.

The acquisition of a Virtusphere will excite students with learning opportunities as they wear a head-mounted display (headgear) in virtual worlds inside the human body, foreign lands, geographic locations, and environments too dangerous to explore in reality.  This technology provides cross-curriculum collaboration allowing students opportunities to design, construct, and implement all areas of STEM courses.  Sachse High School animation, computer science, game design, and engineering design students would be able to collaborate along with core content courses to provide a truly multi-curriculum learning experience.  Students from other disciplines, such as biology, geography, social studies, and physical education would be able to experience their coursework in realistic 3-D environments.

The United States is lagging behind other countries with STEM graduates.  To address this issue in our community, Sachse High School aims to foster students’ interests in STEM related fields and opportunities.  Erik Bushland, the animation teacher, will be responsible for administering the project and facilitating the diverse 3-D virtual development.  The project contact will be Brian CdeBaca, who will be accountable for the effective implementation, managing the multidisciplinary development across curriculum, and monitoring project funding.

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