Yalo Brings VR Experience to Local STEM Lab

  • Yalo
ATLANTA — Yalo, a developer of digital experiences drawing from music, art, sports and entertainment, announced the winners of a complete VR system from this year's Get Plugged In event at SXSW: Tracy Cocquyt-McKernan and John McKernan of Two Brown Dogs Realty. In an unexpected twist, the lucky winners decided the best use for this system with state-of-the-art components, including powerful PC hardware from ASUS to drive the experience and an HTC VR headset, was not in their office or home, but as a learning tool in the STEM lab at their son's elementary school.

Yalo's resident VR guru, Scott Efferson, installed the system this week at Hembree Springs Elementary in Roswell, Georgia. The STEM lab at the Fulton County public school is just beginning its second year in operation, with every student, kindergarten through fifth grade, getting an opportunity to visit the lab every other week.

Stimulating Student Interest in STEM Subjects
Teacher, Jenny Soberanis, is passionate about sharing STEM experiences with the kids and is extremely excited about the possibilities this new technology holds for her students. Principal Laurie Woodruff, who is actively trying to expand the lab with experiences that get students excited about STEM, believes this VR system is exactly the kind of tool that will keep kids coming back for more by helping them learn in a fun new way.

"The kids love the STEM lab but it's challenging to find extra funding to outfit the lab with everything Jenny and Laurie would like. This seems like a great way to pay it forward and give students a really cool opportunity. We hope other parents will consider donating headsets and headphones so more than one student at a time can use the system," said Hembree Springs parent Tracy Cocquyt-McKernan.

Thanks to partners, ASUS, HTC and Skullcandy, the VR system, which is the same one that Yalo used for its Google Tilt Brush demonstration at SXSW, includes:

  • ASUS VivoPC-X — VR ready PC

  • HTC VIVE — VR system including headset and handheld controllers

  • Skullcandy Crusher Wireless Headphones — For a fully immersive experience

Three lucky kids who attended the set-up session got to test out Google Tilt Brush, which lets users paint in 3D space, and explore the world with Google Earth VR. This is just the tip of the iceberg for what they'll get to experience during the course of the year, given that the SteamVRTM platform that this system runs on includes over 23,000 apps.

"We love the idea of getting kids interested and engaged with VR. It's a new technology that's really on the cusp of being accessible to everyone, which will make it a real game changer in everything from commerce to construction to science in the very near future. By the time these kids grow up, it'll likely be totally commonplace to work, live and play in virtual spaces," said Arnold Huffman, Yalo CEO.


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