Mobile AR for Nuclear Pollution

Complex science and environmental issues are a challenge to conceptualize, especially for children. Three researchers at the  National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan created a mobile augmented reality activity to conceptualize student learning in 2013 to bring complex and daunting issues to an easily understandable level. You can stand in front of a group of tween and teens, telling them about something like radiation pollution, but the science and actual experience can be too abstract to make an impact. The mobile AR lesson tested in this study places students in a virtual school a mere twelve miles away from where the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown happened in February of 2011. Students experience how to cope with the changing environmental and real-world conditions after the fallout. Students can virtually stand in three indoor settings, outside, or in a radiation shelter, and measure the different levels of radiation virtually. The students who participated showed not only a strong understanding of radiation pollution and the major environmental repercussions of the event but were more keen and receptive to learning science more generally. The researchers see their results as supporting the use of VR to teach students about other complex and relevant scientific quandaries, particularly climate change. Its use could hypothetically both increase awareness and overall scientific understanding of what is happening, but also make students care about solving it with science. The study is rather constrained from being widely applied for now by the availability of technology and the design process that goes into making the immersive experience, but still demonstrates the viability of such novel techniques in education. 

Chang, Hsin‐Yi, Hsin‐Kai Wu, and Ying‐Shao Hsu. “Integrating a mobile augmented reality activity to contextualize student learning of a socioscientific issue.” British Journal of Educational Technology 44, no. 3 (2013).


Aesthetic/Leisure, Immersive Technology, Lifestyle, Pollution