2. To help build manufacturing skills. Backed by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, Excelsior College has worked with Polk State College to develop simulations to teach and then assess key skills in power generation and advanced manufacturing to prepare technicians for the workplace. The NSF grant helps technicians with occupation-specific training and certification in the energy and manufacturing industries.
“Real-world experience gained through the use of 3D simulations is changing the dynamics of the learning process,” says Heather Davis, corporate training director, training strategies and workforce development at Exelon Nuclear, a division of Exelon Generation, whose employees benefit from a partnership with Excelsior College.
3. For safe laboratory and science experiments, as well as experiments without constraints. Danish company Labster develops simulated lab content for college and high school biology and chemistry courses. Physical laboratories come with risks, but virtual labs allow students to experiment without constraints. For example, a student can create a chemical reaction that blows up a beaker, or investigate a crime scene, or use sophisticated instruments like an electron microscope that are cost-prohibitive in the real world.
4. To help develop life skills and competencies. Money Experience, a Cambridge, MA-based startup, has created a financial literacy curriculum for high schools and colleges that combines in-class instruction with a virtual life simulator. Through the life simulator, students prioritize the things they care most about in life, like education, family, leisure, career, or health. Every decision the student makes in the simulator informs their future finances and their quality of life along the way. The simulator lets students make connections between financial decisions and their quality of life.
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