KALC Students’ Feedback Crucial to the Development of Products for Prisms VR

Wednesday May 18th, 2021- Lynn, MA–  Anurupa Ganguly, founder and CEO of Prisms VR, launched Prisms of Reality to solve the “stubborn STEM attrition problem by actualizing hands-on, and real-world, problem-solving for math that was impossible to realize until recent advances in technology.” Anurupa is a former engineering student and felt what we were doing in math was not going to cut it. She explains that, “Prisms was born out of the idea to have pedagogically effective tools to teach students math and science in real world ways.”

The first learning platform Prisms VR launched is a module in algebra, which they called Pandemic: How can we save our city’s hospitals? You can watch the trailer for this virtual module here. This module provides students the opportunity to gain critical fluencies in Algebra while applying their understanding towards the defining crisis of our lifetime.

After they built their first algebra learning module, Prisms VR wanted a group of student ambassadors to test the product and give feedback. As a former Teach for America corps member, Anurupa got connected to KIPP MA through Teach for America Massachusetts. KIPP MA was excited to partner with Prisms VR and seven lucky KALC students got to experience the algebra module first hand: Britnisha (Brit) Cadet in 9th grade, Chidalu Aniekwenagbu in 10th grade,  Jose Martinez in 10th, Chindindu (Chidi) Aniekwenagbu in 11th grade, Adriel Uribe in 12th, Andy Martinez in 12th, and Bhenzel Cadet in 12th grade. 

During rounds of feedback Anurupa noticed that this group of KALC students were so invested in VR and this new way of learning. Anurupa felt like she had “little VR activists every week” and that the group of KALC students “really validated what we are doing.” KALC 11th grader Chidalu describes, “I sat through two years of algebra on paper, but I had no structural understanding of the concept until VR.” Check out more student testimonial in this video, which features the testimonial of one of our KIPPsters after 1 minute!

Anurupa and the team product manager have constantly and consistently named the KALC students’ insights as crucial to the development of their other modules. As a direct result of the feedback Prisms VR received from the KALC group, the Prisms team decided to expand their partnership with KIPP MA over the summer and into next year. In addition to the expansion of content, they are donating a classroom set of 24 VR Headsets and a set of wall storage shelves.
image.pngThe Prisms VR team wanted to pilot this at KIPP MA because the students’ agency, jubilance, and passion around the programming was so strong. Prisms VR will be offering this module for summer school reengagement in addition to piloting this in the classroom next year. KALC teachers and students will have access to the modules and a classroom set of 24 VR Headsets, and teachers can implement the VR module in units or for individual remediation.

During the pilot year next year, teachers will have a data dashboard, which provides real time data on how students are measurably improving their understanding (both inside and outside VR)  and they can use the data to double proficiency outcomes, track content retention, and improved test scores. Prisms VR hopes to use the feedback from students and staff to implement physics, geometry, chemistry, calculus, and middle school math and middle school physical sciences in 2022. Additionally, Prisms’ is viewing early pilot sites as research sites to showcase the qualitative and quantitative value add of VR  to move learning outcomes and proficiencies.

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Prisms VR is a new paradigm for math education. Prisms delivers the results that students deserve, by teaching to the correct modalities where students learn through perceiving, seeing, doing, and moving. They actualize best practice pedagogy using immersive tactile environments for students to connect 3D, 2D and 1D representations of core Algebra and Geometry concepts for deep understanding, retention, and lasting standards-aligned proficiency. To learn more about the work Prisms VR is doing for math education visit their website at https://www.prismsvr.com/ .