This is a case of personal problems with STEM learning that I faced when we were in secondary school. Using the lab was like visiting a museum, you go once in a year and you are asked to look and not touch. The problem of lack of well equipped laboratories and quality science teachers really affected my learning and that of millions of students who has passed through secondary school and even universities in Nigeria and other developing countries. So when I got into the university and started learning about tech, I thought to myself how can we help students learn and practice experiment despite the lack of physical laboratories. What if we design a lab that runs on a computer to provide practical STEM education even without physical laboratories?
What it does
StanLab is a 3D interactive, virtual laboratory application that provides practical science education to students especially those who do not have access to traditional laboratories in lower-middle and low income countries of Africa, Asia And Latin America. Equipped with 3D-depth cameras such as Leap Motion or Intel Realsense capable of gesture recognition, StanLab allows students to visualize and interact with 3D-models – for instance, users are able to rotate molecules and observe their constituting elements and even perform experiments. StanLab will not only help students better understand science concepts and practice experiments – even in the absence of physical facilities – but also experience a more dynamic and collaborative approach to science education.
How we built it
We researched existing labs and then did a design thinking session to abstract the important features for our region and context.
In terms of technology: the models were designed and built in Blender, we then used Unity 3D to build out the simulations, the windows client app is built with C#, WPF.
Challenges we ran into
We had challenges with finding the right educational content and choosing the game engine that can work well for our simulations.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of the unique designs and features that we have developed that makes the lab very easy to use.
What we learned
We have learnt alot on designing for edtech solutions, building educational content
What's next for StanLab
We are launching in April.