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A Singapore school is using Microsoft's HoloLens to explore nuclear fallout

CNET logo CNET 26/2/2019 Aloysius Low
a group of people standing around a table: Students from Crescent Girls High School in Singapore exploring a nuclear fallout site.  © CNET

Students from Crescent Girls High School in Singapore exploring a nuclear fallout site. 

Ever wish you could see the effects of nuclear radiation on plant and animal life first hand? Some lucky students are living the dream.

Students from Singapore's Crescent Girls High School will use Microsoft's HoloLens to take on the role of ecologists and geneticists as they carry out field work around the site of a nuclear power plant. The mixed-reality device will also let them virtually use equipment such as a Geiger counter and a DNA sequencer.

Dubbed Eco-lysis and made by local mixed-reality startup Serl.io, the two-week module is used in the school's Biology curriculum. Student work in groups of four, where they'll have to co-operate and plan their approach to field work and analysis. Once the experiments are completed, the program generates a report based on what the students have discovered and they can write up their findings based on the results.

a group of people standing around a table: cgs-students-on-the-hololens-1 © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. cgs-students-on-the-hololens-1

I tried out the module and found the experience to be pretty interactive and fun. Some of the activities are simplistic and won't give you a truly realistic experience. But the data generated, such as radiation count or mutations, is real enough that students can learn from it.

The school and Microsoft didn't disclose how much the system costs, but said that they see a lot of potential in the system, and hope to add more modules, such as physics, to the curriculum. 

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