The VRPlants project contains video games, exhibits, workshops, and interactive lessons to teach about plant biology through the use of reality-extending technology. The VRPlants team is lead by ASPB Plant BLOOME-grant recipients Dr. Larry Blanton and Colin Keenan.
Form & Function: Ram’s Horn– “Ram’s Horn” is a web-based virtual reality game that uses virtual reality to support a lesson plan on plant form & function relationships. Play as Proboscidea louisianica and try to snare nearby bison to disperse your highly adapted “ram’s horn” seed pods.
The Naturalist’s Workshop– The Naturalist’s Workshop is an application for the Oculus Quest standalone virtual reality headset for use by museum visitors on the floor of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences under the supervision of a volunteer attendant. Within the application, museum visitors are seated at a virtual desk. Using their hand controllers and head-mounted display, they explore drawers containing botanical specimens and tools-of-the-trade of a naturalist.
VR Field Trip: Longleaf Pine Restoration- A rare 16-acre longleaf pine ecosystem is being rejuvenated for use as a teaching space. The site recently experienced its most significant ecosystem restoration yet through conscientious stand thinning and a ‘controlled burn’ to support longleaf pine growth. 360 degree videos document the restoration process post-burn and serve as invaluable teaching tools- allowing students to conduct ‘walking tours’ of an ephemeral learning space with subject matter experts pointing out key features.