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Secondary school students to ‘feel like a vet’

The Haptic Cow

The Haptic Cow

Press release issued: 27 September 2012

A virtual reality cow will enable secondary school students to learn about veterinary science when they visit the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences for a workshop today [Thursday 27 September].

Over 20 Key Stage 3 students from Backwell School, Bristol, will attend the ‘Building the body workshop’, which aims to engage school children in science by simulating practical experience in veterinary science.  The event is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The workshop will run a practical class with the innovative Haptic Cow to give the students a ‘hands-on’ experience.  The event will also showcase other haptic simulations (virtual yet touchable) that provide a unique way to learn about, and understand, the different body systems such as, cell biology, pulse and heart rate, the abdomen, and muscle pairings action on joints.  Students will be able to touch and interact with simulated internal organs, appreciate structure and function, and experience the effects of certain disease processes.

After ‘trying their hands’ with the Haptic Cow and the other simulations, the students will work in teams to design innovative uses of haptic technology in education, science, health and beyond.

Professor Sarah Baillie, Chair in Veterinary Education at the School of Veterinary Sciences, who created the Haptic Cow, said: “The Haptic Cow simulator will enable the students, using their hands, to be able to ‘feel like a vet’.

“Haptic technology allows people computer interaction via the sense of touch and enables virtual reality objects to be felt.  The technology addresses and overcomes some of the challenges encountered when using more traditional methods and approaches to teaching and learning in veterinary sciences.”


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