Skip to main content

Snapchat and Inspirit team up to build augmented reality STEM lessons

Snap's AR lenses get a science expansion.
Snapchat and Inspirit team up to build augmented reality STEM lessons Credit: Snap / Inspirit

Snapchat lenses, one of the general public's most readily accessible augmented reality (AR) offerings, may soon be an extended learning option for teachers and students, as the company announces a new STEM curriculum incorporating the app's popular AR.

The announcement is a collaboration with Inspirit, a virtual experiential learning platform that provides students with immersive simulations, 3D models, and other educational resources based on support from researchers at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. The interactive learning filters utilize Snapchat's adoptable AR platform software development kit, known as Camera Kit, paired with a comprehensive learning guide to help students grasp core STEM concepts — like geometry essentials — in real-world visualizations.

"Augmented reality enhances conversations with friends, fuels self-expression and creativity, and brings experiences and education into new dimensions," Snapchat writes. "The curriculum is designed to stimulate classroom engagement, boost confidence levels, and improve students' self-efficacy."

Following the initial launch, Snapchat plans to offer a total of 25 STEM AR learning modules to at least 50 schools across the country.

The public release is bolstered by a 2023 case study run by Inspirit, Snapchat, and Stride Inc., a K-12 education management organization. The study provided a group of eighth grade students and teachers collaborating with Stride, Inc. with access to Snap AR simulations, designed to reinforce essential eighth grade STEM concepts like volume, mass, and density. The simulations were based on Inspirit's STEM curriculum and available through its Innovative Learning Hub, which offers various extended reality lessons aligned with national and state education standards.

According to Inspirit, participating teachers received specialized training on integrating these tools into their teaching practices, and students took pre-tests to gauge their initial attitudes, motivation, engagement, and interest in the subject matter. Teachers and students also received guided activity sheets to facilitate the AR lessons.

A post-test survey of the students showed that 92.3 percent reported finding the content easy to understand and 84.6 percent expressed renewed interest in STEM topics based on the use of AR. Teachers also reported positive associations with the lessons, including increased attention spans.

Research across various AR use cases have documented a generally positive impact on student learning. A recent meta analysis of several education studies found that, despite a notable lack of consensus on AR's impact on student motivation, the majority of users have reported positive learning outcomes associated with the use of AR, as well as higher learning achievements compared to traditional education methods.

This focus on extended reality reflects the complex needs of educators — educational institutions, historic sites, and museums included — alongside the rise of online remote learning, as a means of enhancing student engagement and retention. In partnership with facilitating tech companies, educators continue to navigate the latest educational frontier, including the expansion of AI tools designed specifically for classroom use. Meanwhile, social media platforms reckon with their impact on things like youth mental health, digital literacy, and educator burnout.

Snapchat's new AR experiential learning offering joins an array of tech-forward approaches working to address these growing concerns.

Educators interested in a free demo of the new lenses can sign up now. The full curriculum is expected to launch in fall 2024.

Recommended For You

Trending on Mashable

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news