Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs last month joined forces with Alienware, Dell’s premiere PC gaming brand and an industry leader in virtual reality and gaming, to officially launch a national flagship virtual reality lab to influence learning through empathy.

Mount Vernon teacher Marie Graham, and a group of her students began the partnership with Alienware in March 2017 after discovering the incredible impact VR has in the classroom. Their solution was to give high school students the opportunity to work on projects that intersect many industries and have authentic impact.

After conducting extensive research about how the VR industry can elevate learning, Graham reached out to VR experts through social media. Connecting on LinkedIn, she shared her passion and the students’ vision for a powerful partnership. As a result of Graham’s tenacity and Mount Vernon’s reputation for innovative teaching and learning, worldwide industry technology leaders entrusted the school to execute their vision, where students can conduct real-time VR research and create engaging VR content.

“We’re thrilled that Alienware was chosen to be part of Mount Vernon’s groundbreaking VR program,” Nick Savo, Alienware’s product marketing manager, said in a news release. “As we look forward to the projects that Mount Vernon will develop in the new VR lab, it’s important students and staff have the best tools available to teach and learn skills needed for the next generation of content creators.”

Said Graham, “It is so exciting to watch our students’ ideas go from dream to reality. Our young entrepreneurs are ready to face current challenges, work with industry leaders, and make an impact in the world right now. We are helping students learn to lead in the newest fields of technology.”

One of the main goals of Mount Vernon’s VR Lab is to provide opportunities for students to create immersive VR content. The school has previously established a connection with the Center of Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta. Together with students in the school’s innovation diploma program, the VR lab team created content for a new exhibit at the museum about the life of Martin Luther King Jr., which was released in time of the 50th anniversary of his death in April.

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