Intro to VR Lesson 1

UT PREP CS Lesson Plan 1

Introduction to VR with Google Expeditions

Sponsored by Mozilla Gigabit


Standards Addressed: 


Time: 75 minutes

CS Objective(s):

  1. Students will be able to describe what virtual reality is and how technology has been developed to facilitate VR
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to extend current knowledge and/or skills to a computing environment or problem currently unknown to the student


Guiding Question:  What do you know about virtual reality and what do we need to learn? 




Google Expeditions


  • VR Headsets
  • Student Devices (phones)
  • Teacher Device
  • Router
  • Know/Need to know worksheet



Know, Need to Know, Learned worksheet


Engage video



Background Information:

Virtual reality is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment. Game consoles such as the PS4 (Play Station 4) have optional VR headsets and games. Virtual Reality is commonly confused with augmented reality which is the real world enhanced by virtual details. A common augmented reality application is Pokémon Go.

Google Expeditions is a virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world. In order for expeditions to work, 1 person has to lead the expedition (the teacher in this case) and students have to follow and go on the VR fieldtrip. The lead does not see the environment in a VR world. Leads control what the students see and can optionally talk about the place the students are seeing. The Google expeditions app provides an optional script that one can follow.

Google expeditions works best with newer phones because of the hardware and software requirements that are needed in order to run the VR technology. For more information on phone requirements go to:


Refer to the Teacher Handout for Set Up Instructions Before class


Engage (3 min):

Show the video "What is Virtual Reality?"  on the projector:

After you watch the video ask the following questions.

  • What is Virtual Reality?

The computer-generated simulation of 3D images or space that can be interacted with in a seemingly real way by a person using special electronic equipment.

  • Where have you seen VR being used?

I saw a video someone painting in 3D on YouTube!

  • What technologies do you see in the video?

VR Headsets!

  • What things is VR useful for?

Video games

Simulations for doctors, pilots, etc.


Explore (15 min):

Today we are going to go on a field trip. We are going to visit Mount Everest in Nepal, a little country between India and China. However, we will be traveling virtually. You and your partner will get a phone, and a VR headset.


(Make sure that you are already running the expedition by the time that you go through this step)


When you receive your phone and your VR headset, you will do the following:


(Give them through the steps on how to get set up to go on the Google Expeditions fieldtrip so that they see it at least once before doing it themselves)


I will now pass your equipment along with a set of instructions on how to get to Google Expeditions.


(Give students the VR headsets, the student devices, and the student instruction worksheets)


Refer to the Teacher Handout for Instructions on Leading the Expeditions


Student Instructions

  • Unlock the phone by clicking on the bottom right button. Then click on the lock and slide up.
  • Go to wifi settings and connect to wifi.
  • Go to the expedition app. The icon is white and has an orange flag.
  • You will see a white popup screen that says “Welcome to Expeditions!” Click on I Accept
  • Next you will come to a screen that says “Be a guide or Be an explorer”. Click on Follow.
  • Wait for the Everest expedition to pop up on your screen. It will have your teacher’s name
  • Place the phone inside the VR headset, like this. (Show the students how to do it) Make sure you can both see by adjusting the lenses
  • You will take turns looking through the headset. One person will be on the expedition and the other person will be a spotter
  • When a person is using a VR headset they can’t see what’s around them. So, one person will go on the expedition first, while the other person spots their partner so that they don’t fall or hit anything.
  • If you are on the VR headset, describe to your partner what you see!


Give each student 3 minutes on the VR headset


Now we are going to go on another expedition, and this time we are going to go underwater.


Teacher Instructions

  • Leave Everest expedition and switch to the Underwater Caribbean expedition.


Student Instructions

  • Open the VR headset.
  • Click on the Underwater Caribbean exploration
  • Again, lets have one partner spotting while the other one is on the expedition


Give each student 3 minutes on the VR headset


Introduction to Project and Planning (10 min):


Over the next classes, we will be creating our own VR spaces that we can explore using geometrical shapes. Here is an example. Show students an example on your computer/projector screen without letting them see the code. Look around the screen. Here is a rubric of the project. Pass out project and let them look it over


But before we can do that we might need to know some information. You have in front of you a KWL chart. Today we will be filling columns 1 and 2. Discuss with your partner (or group of 4) what you know and what you need to know in order to make your own VR space. In column one, fill out what you know about VR and about our project. In column 2 fill out what you want to know/learn.


Let them discuss for 3 minutes. Bring the class together and discuss. Fill out a chart together as well.


If students are having problems, prompt them with the following questions:

  • Why did we need a spotter?

Space, xyz plane. Where are things located in 3D. Safety

  • What technologies do we need?

VR headset, computer, phone

  • Do you know what technologies we need?

Coding, what programs we are using

  • What are you creating?

VR space with geometrical shapes


Next class we will learn some of the things that we put on our KWL sheets. Start brainstorming with your partner what VR space you will like to create. Keep in mind the rubric that we handed out.


(See resources for an example filled out KWL sheet)


HW: Start thinking about the VR space that you want to create to explore.