Exploring the World with Virtual Reality

KIPP DC aims to foster a community of innovation, exploration, and growth. Each October, KIPP DC staff are awarded The Golden Opportunity Fund, an innovation grant program designed to support and ensure that every student, family, and teacher can thrive. Through the Golden Opportunity Fund, the hope is that every year this fund will empower staff to pilot new ideas, enhance math achievement, foster growth, and advance DEI initiatives.

This year, we received more than 50 applications and were able to fund 31 projects across schools and headquarters, for a total of $80,000. We will be sharing a few of these projects over the several couple weeks.

Virtual Trips: Immersive Learning
Arcinda Edwards, Honor Academy

Overview: KIPP DC is committed to improving reading proficiency among middle schools students. The objective of this project is to increase student reading levels through immersive learning experiences.

Solution and Results: By creating an Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) blended learning program to support the middle school history and reading curriculum, this project will focus on: building background knowledge, retention of information, and aiding students in conceptualizing historical or abstract ideas. Students were able to rationalize the basic answers to help figure questions out – They truly enjoyed the experience and keep asking for the next trip. They even have fellow classmates interested in joining.

Q&A with Arcinda Edwards, 7th & 8th Grade Special Education Teacher, Honor Academy

What was your greatest takeaway from your project?
This project taught me that students don’t know what they don’t know. By giving them these experiences and opening up their world, they could ask questions they never knew to ask and consequently learn what they probably never would know.

Why did you think it was important to apply for the Golden Opportunity Fund grant this school year?
I knew this project couldn’t wait. Virtual Reality (VR) allows students to break free from traditional learning and explore beyond books and the school building.

What is one thing you learned from leading your project this school year?
Through this project, I discovered the power of joy in the classroom. My students, often guarded, let their guard down during the Virtual field trips and became kids again. Their excitement was infectious, and it showed them that learning can be a joyful experience. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I hope my students will carry the joy of learning with them for years to come.


Thank you to Arcinda Edwards and the students at Honor Academy for sharing their journey and experiences.

Posted on July 9, 2024 in Awards & Recognition