The 3D labs and lessons created by Bismarck State College’s Curriculum Development Center bring energy students inside their future workplaces, immersing them in scenarios such as the inner workings of a drilling rig, the action in a process plant and inside the pipes of a drill site, from a computer.
“It’s not easy for every student to get out to a well site in North Dakota, but we can take them there through immersive 3D,” says Zak Allen, project manager for the National Energy Center of Excellence.
BSC’s immersive 3D Interactive Learning Tools (ILTs) include warning sounds and realistic work scenarios students must master. The situations are meticulously recreated by BSC programmers and designers.
In the near future, this state-of-the-art approach will get even more realistic. The online labs are poised to transition to a virtual reality (VR) environment.
“Right now you can use controllers to navigate the labs, but once VR hardware comes down in price, students will have the headsets that make it feel as if they are inside the scenario,” Allen says.