Story by Griffin Hadley
“Alright, goggles up,” Mr. Evan Williams, journalism adviser, said.
And all you could hear a roar of excitement because everyone in the room was stunned over the virtual reality that they were in.
On Wednesday, January 27, Google brought the Google Cardboard and the View-Master devices to Clay to beta test a new educational environment.
Google has made a new app called Google Expeditions, and it’s still in beta phase. Only selected schools around the country got to experience it, and Clay was selected!
According to Google, Expeditions are collections of virtual reality panoramas, 360° photo spheres, 3D images and video, and ambient sounds—annotated with details, points of interest, and questions that make them easy to integrate.
The devices were set up in the seventh grade Social Studies classrooms and the phones had to be charged between every virtual field trip session.
Seventh-grade students at Clay got to experience this virtual reality.
Andrew Buck, seventh grade, said that his favorite part of this virtual reality field trip was when he went to the moon. “[We got to] go to the Taj Mahal and visualize what we are actually learning about in social studies,” he said.
“It works by putting a phone into a cardboard headset,” Buck said. “The lenses make the picture a 360 degree, virtual reality picture.”
Mia Anderson, seventh grade, said the device hurt her eyes and nose a little bit, but it didn't ruin the experience.
Another seventh grader, Corbin King, said his first reaction when he brought the goggles to his face was surprise. King also said he would recommend this device for learning in classrooms.
Daniele Wittles not only got to go on a virtual reality field trip in Social Studies, but she got to do it again in her elective class. Wittles said that her elective teacher, Mr. Williams, showed the class what a photographer’s job was in the American Museum of Natural History.
We thank Google for selecting Clay out of hundreds of schools around the country to experience this beta test app.
Story by Jenna Hohne
Google Goggles are boggling the minds of young students and teachers everywhere. Google recently released Google Expeditions, which are goggles that a person holds up to their eyes and can see the world with. The moment human eyes are in front of the lenses on the goggle, they are in a virtual reality. Select a place, and everywhere you turn it surrounds you.
The new Google Cardboard was unveiled at Google 1/0 2015. This cardboard supports larger cellphones with a screen up to six inches long, and has a new button that works with any type of phone.
According to Google, Expeditions are collections of virtual reality panoramas and are accessed through an app. This app allows teachers to have total control. They can choose a trip on a tablet provided with the Expeditions kit, and lead their students through a virtual Expedition. By using the tablet, teachers are able to point out specific details on the trip, play ambient sounds, and let their students explore freely on their own.
Students loved using Expeditions to learn and explore.
Julia Bricker and Danny Rhoad, two seventh grade students, experienced the Google Expeditions adventure.
“It was very interesting, and it felt like I was actually there,” Rhoad said when talking about the experience.
“I think it is good for visual learners to get more into the topic,” Bricker said.
While Bricker and Rhoad both agreed that it was a very realistic experience, they also said that it made people dizzy.
Google is still tweaking some things on Expeditions before releasing it to the public.
Story by Mia Anderson
Shouts of excitement came from the room as the students ooed and awed over the new technology. The devices were glued to the students face as they were engrossed in the new atmosphere. Clay Middle School was chosen to help Google test out their new Virtual Reality devices. They began to test out the Google Cardboard devices on January 27 and everyone had their own experience with the devices.
“It was cool being able to see the whole picture,” Danny Rhoad, seventh grade, said. “It felt like I was really there.”
The Google devices are planned to be used in classrooms to create a more immersive lesson for the students.
“It works by two screens being shown on any device. Then you use lenses to look through and (the eyes) blend the two screens together to create one 3-D picture,” Giffin Hadley, seventh grade, said.
There were tons of different places the students went to, and with more on the way there are endless possibilities for where you can go.
“I went to the moon,” Hadley said. “I also went to the Taj mahal.”
Only seventh graders at Clay got the chance to beta test Google Expeditions, and all the students when to the Taj Mahal for their social studies class to learn more about the love story behind it.
While most students were impressed with the device, there were some issues.
“The pictures were kind of blurry, plus it made me dizzy,” Annie Surette, seventh grade, said. “I also wish I could move around while looking at the pictures.”
Since this product is in beta, Google will use Clay’s input to help fix any bugs.
Overall, Google Expeditions can be used in classrooms all over the world, and even though the devices are still in beta testing, this product has a very bright future.
Story by Leila Antony
Feet thump and hearts race as out-of-breath students rush past the finish line, trying to beat their classmates.
In the track unit for gym, there are a total of eight events.
“The events are 200 meter dash, 100 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 800 meter dash, 1600 meter dash, shot put and the long jump,” Emily Weed, seventh grade, said.
The track unit in gym is preparing some students for track season, which takes place from March to May.
“The gym track unit makes me want to do school track because I like to compete with my classmates,” Caroline Shepherd, seventh grade, said.
Some students like seventh grader Alaina O’Rear love to run track. She said she really likes the competition and having fun while she’s getting her own exercise.
There are different types of track runners, some like the shorter distances, while others enjoy the longer distances.
“I like the 200m race because I am a sprinter. I am not as good as long distance,” Shepherd said. On the other hand, O’Rear said she is more of a long distance runner than a sprinter.
O’Rear also ran track for clay last year. She ran a variety of events like the four by eight relay, the mile, and the 400m. She said that track for gym was a warm up to get back into running track.
“I enjoy sprinting in track because it is fun and I like to race my classmates,” Weed said.
Story by Alan Bettner
Can the seventh graders make peace between the two countries?
Well that’s what Mr. Ryan Snyder, seventh grade social studies teacher, wanted to see, putting his seventh graders to the test.
The argument between the two countries has been going on for decades, and a lot of people want this argument to stop and the two countries to make peace – including Evan Neukam and Nicholas Edwards.
“Mr. Snyder split the class between yes and no,” Neukam said. Edwards wanted to be on the ‘yes’ side because he said “Down the road, I think they will make peace”.
Snyder said, “I wanted to show my students how hard it is to settle agreements in the Middle East, and what their take is on the conflict.”
He wanted to get the students more interested in the topi, and it looked like it worked.
“I’m glad that Mr. Snyder brought me into this topic and I was very interested to see if we could solve this conflict,” Edwards said. “I think it is important to learn more about the Middle East then we already know.”
Story by Aidan Brown
The students in Mr. Sean McVey’s class got a sweet treat this week when they got into studying the Layers of the Earth.
The Layers of the Earth is the second science chapter of the year for McVey’s class.
Students enjoy this subject because they get to understand the layers of the earth “through the model of candy,” McVey, seventh grade science teacher, explained.
“I think that students should know about the layers of the earth because we have never been passed the crust (surface) of the earth,” McVey said.
Braden Smoker, a student from McVey’s science class, said that he believed knowing what was down below the Earth’s surface was a big part of our lives because we lived on the earth. He explained that it was our job to know.
The Earth is broken down into four sections, the crust (surface), the mantle, the outer core, which is melted metal, and the inner core, where pressure is so great that it’s a dense chunk of solid metal which still hasn’t cooled down since the Earth’s beginning.
To understand the layers better, McVey handed out pieces of Pretzel M&M’s to his students. Each student took the candy and bit straight into the pretzel, making the Pretzel M&M a tasty model of
Earth’s Layers, with the pretzel as the Core, the chocolate as the Mantle, and the hard outside as the Crust.
The Layers of the Earth included learning about tectonic plates, convection currents, and how volcanoes were created.
Smoker said that he liked learning about the layers of the Earth because it was interesting to learn about something he had no experience with.
“I think that learning about the Layers of the Earth is important to everyone, not just students, because we live on Earth,” McVey said, “It’s our home.”
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.