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The VR Experience.

The REEFolution Foundation is developping a virtual reality (VR) 360 degrees underwater experience. This way we can demonstrate our work and improve the understanding through the  visual discovery of what our coral reef restoration work is all about - underwater.

The VR Experience.

In a virtual tour that consists of a series of 360-degrees images and videos they can, for instance, witness the process of collecting coral fragments, maintaining tree nurseries, and out planting coral to an artificial reef. During the tour, there will be interactive learning activities, audio fragments and questions which help to actively master the content. In a broader perspective, the VR-experience focuses on human activity and impact on coral reef systems, like fishery, pollution and tourism. We expect students to be more engaged by entering this virtual underwater world and become enthusiastic to learn more about the underwater environment either from theory or real-life experience.

The virtual tour can be done by people of all ages, but we want to focus on Kenyan students and school childrenfrom the age of ten. Targeting of school-going children has been shown to have an impact on influencing adultknowledge and household behaviour. Also, it's much more difficult to impart conservation knowledge to olderpeople in the community. It is also much harder as an adult to unlearn behaviours that are affecting theenvironment around us negatively without motivation. Children can be a motivation for their parents. The agetarget is set on 10-18 year, as these students may have a better grasp of the importance of conservation.Younger children, due to their shorter attention span might not be able to grasp the learning content. However,some activities (mostly outdoor activities) can be used for the younger ages.

All learning goals will be addressed in different stages of the virtual tour. For example, the viewer is - virtually -sitting on a fishing vessel and witnesses in a 360º video how fishermen drop their fishing traps in the water or how they fish by hand lines. Questions about the fishing gear in the boat will pop-up on the screen, so then for instance also the use of fishing nets can be addressed. The next video panorama shows the impact of different fishing methods underwater and addresses this as an example of direct human influence on the degradation ofcoral reefs. The whole tour should take about 20 minutes and can be done by two participants at the same time. Students can alternate their role during the tour whereby one student is watching the content and the other is noting the answers on the questions.

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Learning goals

●Explain 3 major benefits of healthy coral reefs for the local population (food, coastal protection, tourism);

●Lay-out a healthy reef system with its most important inhabitants and their mutual connections;

●Describe the consequences of a damaged reef on the whole ecosystem (including mangrove forest);

●Recite 10 direct and indirect human influences on the degradation of coral reefs (like pollution, climate change, fisheries, acidification, tourism);

●Name the different structures en techniques being used for coral reef restoration;

●Describe the process of mass-culture coral in nursery structures and out plant nursery-grown fragment sonto various artificial reefs.

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"Coral reef degradation is a phenomenom occurring underwater. As a result, it's left unnoticed. The VR Experience is aimed to solve this issue. We create a close to real underwater experience to increase awareness regarding the worldwide issue of coral reef degradation."

Eric Stokman, Founder 

The VR Experience is sponsored by

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