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A total eclipse of the heart

In our latest blog, we hear from Naomi, a year 10 student at City of London School for Girls, who took a voyage into the human body on her Expedition

Have you ever stepped inside a heart? Taken a glance through the tunnels of an artery? Well, I'm hoping your answer is 'no', but I can tell you that my class got close to the experience with Google Expeditions.

I had never used a virtual reality headset or been given the opportunity to try one until Google visited our school about three months ago and we got to try out some Google viewers during a biology lesson. We were given these cardboard boxes with eye holes, seemingly ordinary from afar but up close... well, we weren't disappointed!

As our teacher talked us through the importance of the circulatory system, we were spinning around in all directions inspecting the front, back and sides of a 3D virtual model of a skeleton. The visuals were full of detail and I immediately became fully immersed in the lesson.

Our teacher used a tablet to guide us through places of interest - which appeared in our headset as little arrows. We travelled into the capillaries with red blood cells floating by us and, as individuals, were told to find white blood cells. Soon 24 girls were all pointing towards nothing, exclaiming they ‘found’ it first.

‘I was standing in a ventricle just below the aortic valve’

The most interesting part of our tour took place inside the heart. I was standing in a ventricle just below the aortic valve. We stopped to discuss the different parts of the heart and their functions, using all we could see. 

If I was given the chance to take the Google Expedition in another subject, I would definitely choose Physics to explore the unexplorable, eg: space. However, some of my classmates preferred the idea of Google Expeditions in Geography, to see the world's greatest natural phenomenons up close, such as volcanic thunderstorms.

By the end of the experience I was impressed with the VR headset and was anxious to learn more with it. I remember my mouth being permanently stuck in a ‘wow’ expression with every new sight. Even now, I can easily recall information with vivid images. 

I would recommend this for other schools because no one is left out of learning. 

Want your school to trial Google Expeditions? Sign up here