CLARENCE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - It might look like the students are playing a video game or watching a 3D movie, but they're in class.
The North Cedar Community School District Junior and Senior High School students are getting their STEM education through a new 3D classroom.
"It's different because you can look at something like you've never seen before,” said North Cedar Senior Raquel Witt.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
“The kids are so engaged in it, they love it. The first day they were so excited to see this, so it really made learning fun for them,” said Jr./Sr. High School Principal Mark Dohmen.
Students wear special glasses to get a 3D view of a number of objects. For example they could twist and turn a heart to see everything, inside and out. The students can even feel the heartbeat.
From prosthetics to human anatomy and even dissections, students could see it all.
"For example, there's one you can dissect a frog on there, so that kind of saves in the long-run, time and money, for like our science programs,” said 7th-12th Grade STEM Teacher Heather Davidson.
Students say the technology is helpful.
"It's more visual, and I'm a visual learner,” said North Cedar Senior Bethany Gregory.
The district said the 3D classroom is just one example of the district's new expanded STEM curriculum. This year, school leaders are putting STEM at the heart of their educational program. From Kindergarten through twelfth grade the district wants to stay competitive with larger districts with a program that benefits its students.
“We want to offer the best programs for our kids and what's going to keep them interested in learning and get them the skills they need to go on to college,” Dohmen said.
The superintendent said the entire district's STEM program comes with a price tag of about $175,000.
He also said after the district closed a building in Stanwood, that move left more money to use on new programming, like the STEM program.