Here’s a word problem for you. Mr. Richard Lockamy is the computer programming teacher at Wake STEM Early College High School. Mr. William Burgess is the science teacher.

Virtual Reality

Together they have more than 60 students. They want to create an engaging experience that can teach the students about computer programming and science. How long will it take them to get there? The answer, one world cafe.

That’s where Lockamy met Mike Mcardle, co-founder of the Virtual Reality Learning Experience.

“One of the things I want to do is bridge the gap between people in the professional [virtual reality] industry and educators,” McArdle said.

Together they came up with an idea. What if students could use McArdle’s equipment to visit the planets in our solar system virtually? Lockamy could teach students about the code to program the devices while Burgess highlighted the vastness of the solar system. Less than a month after meeting at World Cafe, McArdle showed up to Wake STEM Early College High School with Oculus Rift headsets for students and sent them into space.

“It shows you just how big stars are,” Freshman Cameron Nowak said. “I feel like I have a better understanding of how big our galaxy is. I knew it was big, but I didn’t know it was that big.”

Cameron is just one of the many students whose imagination was sent to new heights that day. And this is just one of the many partnerships that have bloomed since World Cafe. After launching at World Cafe, the ship of learning is starting to take flight. Or as NASA would say, Houston, we have lift off.