Have you ever wondered what the Colorado River Aqueduct looks like in real life? How about the perspective from a ledge peering right over the massive wall, where water falls down multiple stories into a reservoir on its way to be transported to homes and cities across the Southwest?
While this experience would make for an epic field trip, the students at Los Amigos High School didn’t have to travel any farther than their science classroom after school to take in the view. Thanks to the team at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, students from Ms. Jeannine Verrellen’s AP Environmental Science class and the DROPS Committee “traveled” to Colorado through a custom VR experience offered for free to schools by MWD.
Each student put on a headset and immersed themselves in a replica of the aqueduct infrastructure, surrounded by the expansive Colorado landscape. Some said that they got dizzy, losing their sense of the classroom floor, as it felt like they were actually standing on a massive precipice above the reservoir.
The VR experience aligned perfectly with the Los Amigos students’ work on the Education & Outreach component of the DROPS grant. This component of the project sought to inform students about the source of their local water supply, the science behind the water cycle, and the purpose of the new drought tolerant landscaping that they will enjoy on campus thanks to the grant funding.
While most of us will never see an aqueduct in person, bringing such a gigantic structure to life in 3D is a fascinating and fun way to make the necessity for water conservation real.