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Virtual reality opens new doors for learning in Southern Arizona classrooms

Act One Virtual Reality Field Trip
Posted at 6:40 AM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 09:40:35-04

SAHUARITA, Ariz. (KGUN) — As a middle school art teacher, Rebecca Oravec has had to get creative with her lessons throughout the pandemic.

"I feel very passionate about field trips. I did try to make a field trip to the University of Arizona Art Museum before the pandemic. That was canceled," said Oravec.

Still determined to give her students a similar experience, Oravec found a program that allows the kids to explore the world without ever leaving the classroom.

"We can really give them the opportunity to experience world class art and artists inside their own classroom," said Act One Arts Education Director, Beth Maloney.

Act One, a non-profit based in Tucson and Phoenix, is teaching kids about art through virtual reality. After putting on a pair of high-tech goggles, students are "transported" to a new environment.

"We have been building this program for about a year and a half now. It is essentially a trip around the country where we take a look at the history of public art and mural making," said Maloney.

The virtual field trip makes a stop at Tucson's famous Fox Theatre. Students attend a performance by an all female mariachi band.

"I'd love for students to feel inspired. I want them to take a little bit of academic knowledge, but definitely a lot of personal inspiration as well," said Maloney.

Act One's program is free for Title I schools starting this November.