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New Tech Odessa students use virtual reality in neuroscience class

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:18 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - It’s not very common that a high school teaches a class about neuroscience using virtual reality, but New Tech Odessa does just that.

In it’s Neuroscience Research and Design Class, students have access to neuroscience data where they can see, up close and personal, actively growing neurons in developing brains through virtual reality.

“You see this stuff in books, you learn about this, you can look this up on a website, but it’s just great that you’re able to see all of this information virtually, right in front of you and you can make so many new discoveries,” said Anjelica Garza, a senior at New Tech Odessa.

Jason Osborne is the Chief Innovation Officer for ECISD and he said this class is giving students an experience that very few high school students get to do. He said ECISD has a network of researchers around the world that they use to give students real world experience.

“We pipe into that network of researchers and find out if they have any specific research questions that our students can help answer,” Osborne said.

Bernadette Barragan teaches the class and said her students are excited and take ownership of their learning.

“I mean we saw it a little while ago while they were on the software. They take it and they run with it. I will get them started, get them going and they amaze me with how much they can do on their own and how far they can push it,” Barragan said.

Osborne said this class opens students’ minds to the possibilities of what they could do in the future.

“Can you imagine if you graduate high school and you’re graduated and you have postdoc experience? so, these students have access to data that neuroscientists, researchers around the world have access to,” Osborne said.

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