In partnership with online education 3P Learning, CSIRO will create virtual worlds that mirror real-life places, such as forests, structures or underground caves.
Remotely from their homes or campuses, students will use avatars to explore these digital environments and learn science skills.
Students will be given quests that require them to explore the environment and complete inquiry-based learning tasks that will assess their core science skills.
An interesting and unique feature of the platform is to switch between the virtual world and high definition panoramic video of the real-life environment from the exact same location.
“Imagine walking beneath the dense canopy of the Daintree rainforest, understanding the forces holding up the Sydney Harbour Bridge or exploring the life found amongst the elaborate underground structures of the Jenolan Caves,” CSIRO Research Leader Professor Jay Guo said.
The project, funded by the Australian Government, is expected to trial in mid this year for students in grades five to eight.