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Google Expeditions Brings Augmented Reality Program to Local School

Students at Mary of Nazareth Catholic School, recently had the chance to experience augmented reality courtesy of Google’s latest Pioneer Program. With Google’s Augmented Reality technology, teachers can bring the world into the classroom to help engage students with immersive lessons.

The technology maps the physical classroom and places 3D objects on students’ desks so that everyone can examine the object together at the same time. Students can walk all around the objects, get in close to spot details, and step back to see the full picture. The 3D objects are designed as a supplement to a teacher’s existing lesson plan to help bring the subject to life.

Middle School Science teacher, Jennifer Massey, spearheaded Google’s visit to Mary of Nazareth. Students of all grade levels had the opportunity to experience Google’s AR technology across a variety of subject areas, including art, math, science, media, literature, and social studies.

Lessons ranged from Art History - Impressionism to Ecosystem of a Coral Reef to The Trojan War. “The Google Expedition AR allowed my art students to take a ‘gallery walk’ and observe a selection of prominent Impressionist art works by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, and Camille Pissarro through a 3D experience,” said Art teacher, Laura Schneider. “It provided an innovative approach to art appreciation through peer interaction and a personal encounter with the great Masters.”

The AR Pioneer Program aligns with the school’s STREAM initiative, which was launched this earlier this year. The initiative aims to integrate the individual disciplines of Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics, in a manner that promotes critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration among students. Mary of Nazareth’s students have benefitted from numerous experiential learning opportunities throughout the school year. Massey, a member of the school’s STREAM Committee, also coordinated with the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation earlier this year to bring a Mobile Science Lab on campus.

Located in Darnestown, Mary of Nazareth, is a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. The school has served families throughout Upper Montgomery County for nearly twenty five years. Currently, Mary of Nazareth offers the primary grades of Kindergarten to eighth grade, as well as a full-day preschool program for four year olds.