Expeditions into New Holland: Creating VR Experiences with Students!  

At a recent school board meeting, a small group of New Holland Elementary fifth and sixth graders announced that their work was being published by Google. These fifth and sixth grade students were selected to take part in a Google Expeditions Beta program back in early March. Using the hashtag #WhyYouLoveWhereYouLive, Google challenged the students with creating a virtual reality experience detailing what they love about the area in which they live. Using Google Expeditions and Samsung 360 Gear cameras, students took pictures of the New Holland and ELANCO area and wrote a guided tour of their hometown.

 With the help of their teacher, Mrs. Cherie Lenahan, and instructional technology coach, Adam Geiman, students  introduced their Expedition to the public for the first time at ELANCO’s Annual Elementary Gifted Expo in May. Participants were able to interact with the virtual reality experience using Google’s augmented and virtual reality website called Poly.  Students covered a wide range of topics such as the history, education, food, industry, and tourism of the ELANCO area.  Since that time, the team learned that Google had selected their expedition New Holland PA, The Amish Way to be published on Google’s Expeditions App, a virtual reality platform. Students involved in the project were Gavin Andrews, Cheyton Boll, Lilly Burger, Luke Hodge, Gavin Reimers, John Serdy, Eloise Taylor, and Gavin Zook. Anyone interested in viewing the Expedition can visit https://poly.google.com/view/efJSR7vjL4v