Starting this year, Saudi Arabia plans to develop almost 10 GW of renewable energy by 2023. Supporting this plan, Mishkat, an Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy in Riyadh, has been opening its doors for any educational institutions to ensure a perfect visit to the exhibition and learn more about renewable energy. Until today, Mishkat has served 18,557 schools, 138,727 students, and 1,151 teachers, and they wanted to take a different step: Reliving the experience of learning renewable energy through virtual reality.
The main idea is simple: Educating kids—ranging from 10 to 15 years old—the basic lesson of renewable energy in virtual reality. With the help of the team at Visual Experience a.k.a BeThere, Mishkat finally released a renewable energy VR game called Energy Capture in English and in Arabic. Slip on a BeThere Book and you’ll see what happens.
Once you start the game, you will realize you are standing on top of the hill. When you turn around, you will see in ground-mounted solar farms. Not far from there, you will find a river which leads to a tiny lake. Somewhere around the lake, there are windmills spins slowly, based on the wind’s power. At the end of the river, a hydroelectric power stays still. These three emerging renewable sources of energy—sun, wind, hydroelectricity—are the main parts of this renewable energy VR game.
So, this is how kids learn renewable energy in virtual reality: Located in a virtual energy park, they have to operate three of this renewable sources of energy.
1 . Renewable Energy VR: Solar Power
Solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight. And, that’s what you will become: A solar tracker.
As a solar tracker, you have to track the solar panel according to the sun’s direction. There are two ways to simply follow the sun’s direction: 1) By looking at the sky; 2) By taking a look at the sun’s navigation right in front of your eyes. If you track the solar panel right, it could absorb the sun’s rays as a source of energy for generating electricity, shown in a battery icon how much you generated. However, just like in real life, the sun will move as the time goes by—in this case, it moves every second. So, make sure you follow the sun because when the night comes, there will be no sun, no electricity generated. And, it won’t be that easy because there will always be new solar panels, so you have to manage your tracking fast and right in order to get the maximum result.
When the time’s up, you will find your score based on the energy you generate throughout the game.
Can you generate the energy as much as you can in the first try?
2. Renewable Energy VR: Wind Power
It’s always fun to be something else in virtual reality. Good news, you will become the wind here. As the wind, you have the responsibility to generate energy by blowing the windmills. However, the wind doesn’t always come fast and powerful. So, every time you get the chance to blow fast, make sure you blow all those windmills as best as you can.
3. Renewable Energy VR: Hydroelectric Power
Hydropower plants capture the energy of falling water to generate electricity. It’s pretty simple to play with hydro. All you have to do is operate the hydropower by adjusting the machine, according to the power demand. Sometimes, the power demand is low, which means you have to “turn off” some of the big-sized machines. Sometimes, the power demand is high, which means you have to “turn on” the big-sized machines, but don’t overlimit because it can reduce the electricity generated.
By the release of Energy Capture in virtual reality, kids can learn the basic lesson of how solar, wind, hydroelectric works in renewable energy; it’s like investing the knowledge to the kids for the future.
Energy Capture is now available on Play Store and on App Store.
Energy Capture is also now listed as the recommended education virtual reality application in BeThere Book: Learning Edition.