Lifelong Learning Programme

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Relevant initiatives

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Title of Initiative / Project
Virtual science – Virtual worlds for the sciences
Name of Organiser
Michelina Occhioni
Start and ending date of the Initiative
Was the initiative carried out in the framework of a funded project?
Type of deliverables
Teaching Methodology, Video, On-line Game, Didactical resource
Thematic area
Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Biology, Technology, ICT, Science
Language of the deliverable
Italian, English
Target Group
Description of the initiative
Virtual Science is born from author’s desire to share her own teaching experience with other teachers in sciences and in particular the application of new technologies in teaching, virtual education and e-learning in general.
For a long time the author was interested in information technology and a few years ago she discovered virtual worlds particularly Opensim.
Many schools and universities are taking advantage of this great opportunity.
In the field of education, particularly in science and technology, it is useful to simulate phenomena, to study the geometry of solids and rebuilding natural environments.
In fact, the modeling of scientific phenomena is important to understand them, considering that a fun and motivating environment is essential for learning.
The project is based on the building of a 3D virtual world by an open source multi-platform, multi-user 3D software called OpenSim for educational purposes.
Thanks to Opensim the author created Techland with the intention to promote the approach of studying science with curiosity. The main aim of the website is to stimulate students’ creativity and imagination whilst testing the perspective and the impact on teaching.
Techland is a group of a dozen thematic islands dedicated to maths, chemistry, biology and earth science . It is based on OpenSimulator and resides on a Linux server , owned and managed by myself. All data are stored in a MySQL database. Techland is configured to be accessed from the internet only by authorized teachers and students, and runs in a Standalone mode, as a private world, for security reasons, for the protection of underage students.
Generally we use imprudence or singularity to log into the world
Every island covers a specific subject or facility.
-Techland is the Welcome Area, where the initial information is found, and where students can reach the other islands by the teleport system. Here the ongoing projects are displayed.
-Bioland is dedicated to environmental and cellular biology.
-Earthland is the place where students learn earth science.
-Chemland concerns to the structure of matter and chemical reactions.
-Powerland is dedicated to renewable energies, particularly hydro, solar and wind energy
-Waterland focuses on water.
-Mathland is the city of math.
-Techstore and Tech Sandbox are service sims that support all activities.
The first is a big Store, where textures, small objects, avatar apparel accessories and scripts are found;
the second is a building area where students are free to enjoy with primitives, the basic geometric building shapes, and learn how to build.
More Information
The initiative presented in this website turns out to be very interesting, especially to whom desires to capture students attention and to increase the attraction of scientific subjects through virtual reality. The website offers “mondi virtuali” [virtual worlds] about biology (, mathematics (, chemistry ( and earth science (
These sections contained thematic videos, that can be examples for introduction videos in classrooms, could also be an example for the methodology with the involvement of students in the production of new virtual worlds.
Teachers’ Opinion
This website is really interesting. It deals with scientific subject through the use of ICT. The video and the animations help to understand complex concepts.
There are not relevant weaknesses. The didactic resources cover several scientific fields and teach that by studying you can reach a better understanding of the real life events.
This portal can be easily submitted to the pupils.
Students’ Opinion
This website is a pleasant way to learn fundamental concepts for scientific subjects. The video simulations are very interesting.
Sometimes we need the teachers’ explanation because some topics are difficult to understand.

Comments on this Relevant initiatives

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Date: 2015.03.18

Posted by Kamila Pawenta (Poland)

Project is worth reccomendation to all teachers. The temathic islands are good idea to gain students interest in science subcjet. Nice videos showing phenomena. I will use this materials at lessons.

Date: 2015.03.12

Posted by Katarína Javorová (Slovakia)

Initiative of the Michelin Occhioni to create a 3-D virtual world for learning science is very inspiring. Pupils are learning about natural phenomena by using simulations which is very close to them (it is something like computer games).
- Author created educational countries for pupils, in which he is opening up the regularities of particular countries – scientific areas. The form is very interesting and engaging and motivating for pupils.
- Yes, I will certainly use Chemland and Waterland.

The chosen topics can certainly arouse the interest of my students towards learning chemistry. I believe that author will continue in creating and complementing of the virtual countries. I hope that new, interesting islands, full of attractive natural phenomena will be added soon.


Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.