Learn Chemistry in virtual reality ? It’s possible !

Apr 13, 2023 12:00:00 AM | Pedagogy & Education Learn Chemistry in virtual reality ? It’s possible !

Would you like to know how to integrate virtual reality into your practical chemistry work? Discover how in our article!


In the last few years, virtual reality has become widely available. Whether it is with the general public or in the business world, it is unlikely that you have missed it. Its uses have also diversified over time. Much used for video games and entertainment at the base, it has expanded to new sectors.

Today, medicine, construction, culture and many other fields are using virtual reality. But if there is one sector that immersive technologies have revolutionized, it is the training sector. And… who says training, also says Education!


Historically, MIMBUS has always provided solutions for professional training. Tools to train apprentices in manual trades, especially in the construction and industrial sectors. (Those of you who know us probably already knew this).
Recently, the CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers) came to shake all this up. This is how we took our first steps in the world of Education.

Many people believe that Virtual Reality will totally change our relationship with school in general. In the future, it is very likely that young people will :

  • Learn history by traveling in time
  • Discover science in a totally immersive way
  • Practice chemical experiments in a virtual laboratory

And for this last point, this is where the virtual chemistry lab comes in!

The virtual chemistry lab: what is it?

virtual reality training for welding


Like a virtual twin of your own laboratory, it is a place where your students can practice and discover chemistry in complete safety.
It uses the capabilities of virtual reality to allow you to put your students in a situation and verify that they adopt the right behaviors. You will be able to offer a realistic experience, in which your students can :

  • Become familiar with chemistry
  • Develop their skills
  • Learn about the tools of the chemist
  • Adopt the right reflexes when faced with danger
  • Carry out simple or complex manipulations

They will be able to discover this environment, move around inside and interact with it. For the experience to be enriching, it must be realistic. But above all, it has to bring an added value compared to a classic experience.
And this is the advantage of virtual reality that we will discuss in the second point.


What are the advantages of the virtual chemistry lab?


First advantage: safety

Safety in chemistry is a real issue. The elements worked on can be dangerous for health and the reaction they can have between them even more.
To minimize these risks, certain rules are necessary.
First of all, it is important to know what equipment to wear in each situation. Students must acquire the reflex to equip themselves properly before each manipulation in order to evolve safely at all times.
Then comes the manipulation. Some of these manipulations may involve risks. Your students must be able to identify them in order to handle them as safely as possible. This is also where the interest of virtual reality comes in: the risks and consequences of a bad manipulation remain fictional.
Your students will be able to test, fail and learn from their mistakes while preserving their health, the health of the people around them and the material used.
Finally, in case of an accident, it is important to adopt the right reflexes. There are procedures to put in place in case of danger that it is important to apply to the letter. The best way to know them and to apply them regularly in order to be as reactive and efficient as possible in case of need.


virtual reality for welding


Second advantage: educational follow-up

Virtual reality is nothing more than a teaching tool. It serves the trainer to help him make his training more effective and engaging. We are convinced that practice is an excellent way to engage students. Chemistry is already a subject that can be learned through practice, no need for virtual reality for that.
On the other hand, virtual reality can provide the teacher with a lot of information that he would not have had access to in normal circumstances.
Many elements must be taken into account in the evaluation of students.

  • Reaction time
  • Recognizing a danger
  • Accuracy of handling
  • Ability to get to safety quickly

These are only a few of the indicators that will allow the trainer to analyze the progress of his students.
These indicators will allow the teacher to adapt and personalize the learning of his students according to their strengths and weaknesses. He now has the ability to offer his students a whole new learning experience that adapts to their needs.

Bonus: We have prepared a visit of the virtual chemistry lab in the video just below