South Bend students explore the world through virtual reality

NOW: South Bend students explore the world through virtual reality

SOUTH BEND, Ind. —- A local teacher is taking her students out of the classroom and into the virtual reality with the help of Google.

Lisa Artusi, a teacher at Kennedy Primary Academy, won a $10,000 grant for the school last November for the Google Expeditions program. She was able to purchase close to 30 virtual reality kits, which includes goggles and smart phones, for her students. 

“I believe it’s just to give the kids a unique experience to level the playing field,” Artusi said. “To take kids places they’ve never have been to or might not ever have the opportunity to go to as they become adults or even now.”

With the Google Expedition program, students are able to swim with fish in the Galápagos Islands, tour the Great Wall in China, and take part in 750 other expeditions. Espen Luppes, a student at Kennedy Academy, said he gives the program five-stars. 

“I would say looking at all the environments they all look super cool and I’m probably never going be able to see them,” Luppes said.

According to teachers, half of the students haven’t been to Chicago, less than 1 percent have left the county, and almost a third of students at Kennedy Academy haven’t been to Potawatomi Zoo. Artusi said she wants to level the playing field for her students by using this program and also help the rest of the community understand technology better. 

“The more and more technology that we use and have kids more comfortable with it I think it will push adults to also then try to upgrade their technologies and or experiences,” she said. “So there not as I don’t want to say afraid but their more familiar.”




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