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Avantis Offers Free Earth Day-Themed VR Modules for K-12

For Earth Day, the educational VR company is offering schools one week of free access to online lessons about deforestation, pollution, the harm that plastics have on marine life, and the importance of recycling.

A pile of dirty plastic trash against a blue sky.
In recognition of Earth Day, an educational VR company is providing free interactive digital content to schools across the U.S. through the end of this week.

Avantis Education, which makes virtual reality (VR) headsets and other augmented reality tools for classroom use, has released seven lessons that can be accessed on its Eduverse platform at no charge through Friday, regardless of if the viewer is a customer or has a VR headset, according to a news release last week.

The seven lessons focus on deforestation, pollution, e-waste, climate change, ocean plastics, recycling plants and plastic recycling. Within these virtual lessons, students can visit a littered beach and go underwater to view the impact on ocean life. They can also visit a city struggling with the effects of climate change, or walk in a tropical deforested area that was once a rain forest. Avantis is also providing recommended guidance for teachers on supplementing these lessons.

The Earth Day content is available on the Eduverse Homeroom page by clicking “Explore” at the bottom of the screen, then scrolling through the material on the subsequent page. Items that require a subscription are grayed out.

“Our immersive, engaging scenes about environmental sustainability are great resources to help teachers supplement their lessons leading up to Earth Day,” Avantis Education CEO Huw Williams said in a public statement. “By providing free access to this content, we hope to help even more teachers raise awareness about the important issues affecting our planet, and how students can help.”

The theme for this year’s Earth Day is “Planet vs. Plastics,” according to the, a nonprofit organization that works with 150,000 partners across 192 nations to promote environmental change and sustainability, according to the organization’s website.

That theme is consistent in the free immersive scenes offered by Avantis this week. In the module on ocean plastics, for example, as the user walks underwater, they can see sunken plastic barrels and the type of large containers that would contain antifreeze or weed killer, along with images of sea turtles nibbling plastic grocery bags. The plastic recycling module shows the path of water or soda bottles as they are dumped on a conveyer belt, crushed and shredded, disinfected and emitted as clean residue or pellets that can be used in new products.

As part of the Earth Day initiative, the news release said, Avantis will also give schools a discount on new ClassVR headsets if they recycle their their old ones. The company works with recycling companies to break down the electric components of old headsets.

The news release added that by 2040, Avantis Education intends to have net-zero carbon emissions, meaning its manufacturing operations will be set up so all carbon dioxide emissions generated by the production of VR and AR equipment will be contained and removed from the atmosphere.

The company serves more than 2 million students in more than 200,000 classrooms across 90 countries, according to its website.