LA’s Monsur uses VR tours to improve child care facilities in Texas, Colorado
By: Allen Ramsey
Millions of children spend the majority of their waking hours in one of over 125,000 childcare facilities across the nation. Now, a team of Texas Tech researchers is looking to improve their early-childhood experience.
Using virtual reality (VR) and 3D cameras, a team from three academic departments will use a $299,000 grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food & Agriculture to develop virtual tours and educational programs for childcare providers.
The team, led by Muntazar Monsur, an assistant professor within the Department of Landscape Architecture, is collaborating with the National Wildlife Federation's Early Childhood Health Outdoors program. The goal is to train child care professionals, teachers and caregivers about low-cost, sustainable and incremental design for creating healthier early childhood environments.
“Design-based interventions in child care outdoor environments were found to support children's increased physical activity and healthy diet; the two most important criteria for preventing early childhood obesity,” said Monsur, who also leads his department's extended reality laboratory.
Field trips to demonstration sites offer an opportunity to motivate and connect child care providers to encourage and educate them about healthy and active outdoor environments for children. However, educational field trips are not only expensive, but time-consuming for care providers.
With the use of 3D camera technology and VR to help offset those costs, the team will organize virtual workshops for Texas and Colorado care providers, and use interactive virtual tours to teach about designing and implementing healthy outdoor learning environments. In addition, the VR tours will be used as part of graduate programs across Tech's Department of Design, Department of Human Development & Family Sciences, and Department of Landscape Architecture.
Monsur is joined on the project by co-principal investigators Malinda Colwell, a professor in Texas Tech's Human Development & Family Sciences, along with Department of Design Chair Kristi Gaines and Assistant Professor Lori Anderson-Guerrero.
“This grant combines two research domains – promoting health and wellbeing by design and using interactive XR technology to advance and reimagine online education and training,” Monsur said.
CONTACT: Muntazar Monsur, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Texas Tech University at 806 834-2994 or email@example.com
0726NM22 / Editor's Note: For more information on Muntazar Monsur's research, please click here
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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