EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) –Ysleta Independent School District has added a new “immersive virtual reality component” to its math and science programs at the middle-school and high-school level, according to the district.

Ysleta ISD gave a demonstration of the new Prisms program at Del Valle Middle School on Monday, Aug. 21.

The goal is to “improve student learning through movement, experience and meaningful discovery,” a news release stated.

Through a partnership with Prisms, a spatial learning platform for K-12 STEM education,
Ysleta ISD middle-school students are now using virtual reality goggles and handheld
controllers to learn math while high-schoolers are using the hardware to learn biology, according to the release.

“Seeing them talk with each other and tell each other, ‘Oh yeah – the nucleus! Oh the
mitochondria!’ Those conversations are what makes it worth it,” says Riverside High
School biology teacher Daniela Tucker.

The idea is to leverage virtual reality so students can benefit from “experiential learning,”
or learning through seeing, moving, touching, perceiving, and solving compelling real-world problems, according to the release.

A teacher dashboard provides educators with real-time data on student thinking and misconceptions, so they can immediately identify struggling students and
send messages directly to students in the virtual-reality environment. The dashboard
also tracks student progress and proficiency over time.

During Monday’s demonstration of Prisms at Del Valle Middle School, students learned about fractions using the Prisms program.