High school students in North-Holland first explorers of virtual microbiome


Students that attended the Bètapartners Conference at the Bertrand Russell College in Krommenie became the first testers of a new VR application developed by MiCRop. The VR application is a video game which aims to introduce the young players to the microbiome concept.

Students are often unaware of the complex relationship between plants and their underground environment. To visualise these interactions is often quite difficult. MiCRop has worked on a new teaching module, mostly in the form of a VR application, to overcome this hurdle.

During this workshop, Paula Mittelberg (Kaj Munk College, coordinator biology) and Kees Denneman (Bonhoeffcollege, coordinator NLT) introduced the beta version of the new module. This contains the VR application with which the students can delve into a virtual simulation of microbiomes. Furthermore, the students can analyse their own soil samples based on DNA from various bacteria.

The VR application is still in beta, but is expected to be finished at the start of 2025 at the latest. When the final version is ready, the new teaching module can come into effect in secondary educational institutes in the Netherlands.