Virtual Reality Educational Tool for Connecting Chemistry Lecture with Remote Laboratory Demonstrations

Providing access to up-to-date and expensive instruments for a large classroom is challenging for courses of analytical chemistry and physical chemistry, where knowledge on analytical methods or demonstration of phenomena is associated with a specialized instrument. In this technology report, we present our solution to this challenge: a virtual reality (VR) chemical educational tool that provides in situ user experience on research equipment to a large classroom. The VR educational tool consists of a VR camera in the laboratory attached to a teaching assistant who performs the experiment and many virtual reality playing devices in a classroom watched by students. The experience of experimenting is shared with the students in the classroom. Moreover, the VR educational tool can also provide an immersive experience on laboratory demonstrations to the general audience for outreach, without the constraint from safety concerns. Further utilization of the VR educational tool is expected to remove the barrier between the lecture room and the laboratory and enable new pedagogical methods for lectures in STEM education.