Davenport, Iowa — An Iowa high school rolled out a phone-based virtual reality tool Tuesday that can help high school students nationwide determine a career path in STEM fields.

“Helping students understand their career paths, is important. Helping American students find their way to STEM careers is critical for our country,” said Andy Craig, President of Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa.

The virtual reality mobile app allows students to select from a wide variety of careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) using a head mounted display, like Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear. Once started, students are presented with people across the United States in various fields. From programmers in Silicon Valley, to game developers in Dallas, to a school technologist in Chicago, students experience the diversity of these opportunities.

“For the first time, students can do more than just read about careers or watch videos. Now, they can virtually step into the world of the career they are exploring,” said Steve Grubbs, CEO of VictoryVR, the developing firm.

The VR career exploration tool was paid for by a $25,000 STEM Best grant from the State of Iowa and matching corporate contributions.

“This is a perfect tool for guidance counselors and parents as they work with students to find a career path for their student,” said Bridget Murphy, Principal of Assumption High School. “It’s a powerful tool for us to sit with students and let them stand in the largest aluminum rolling mill in the world and experience it with the engineer that manages it.”

The tool is available for free on the Google Play store and can be found by searching “VR STEM Career Exploration”. A version for iPhones will be available on Apple’s App Store beginning in June.

Some of the careers and locations include:

  • Industrial engineer, Arconic Corporation,
  • Family Medical Doctor,
  • Web developer, San Francisco,
  • Game Developer, Robot Entertainment, Dallas,
  • Phlebotomist, Mississippi Valley Blood Center,
  • Solar Energy CEO, New Mexico,
  • School Technologist, University of Chicago Charter School,
  • Veterinarian, Eldridge, Iowa,
  • and a science teacher (from Assumption High School).

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