Cellscape: VR Biology

Cellscape: VR Biology with Guided Audio Tour

Cellscape is a 3D virtual reality tour inside of a human cell.

You're made of about 40 trillion cells. Dive into one of them, and explore the amazingly beautiful, complex, and dynamic microscopic world!

For the immersive 3D experience, view Cellscape in a VR headset, such as Google Cardboard. Alternatively, Google Chrome and the YouTube smartphone app allow users to navigate the environment.

Cellscape is a collaboration between Tyler DeWitt and XVIVO Scientific Animation, and it was made possible by the Google Making and Science Team

Tyler's Thoughts on Cellscape

I've taught Biology for many years, and no matter whether I'm teaching elementary school or college, students have tremendous difficulty picturing the physical world inside of a cell.

The cell is an incredibly dynamic place, and teachers try explain all the things that are going on: they have textbooks and diagrams, but it's sort of like trying to describe New York City to students when all you've got are some crude hand-drawn maps.

I always felt that if I could just take students on a field trip inside the cell, they could look around and see things, and suddenly, it would all make sense. 

Cellscape is an attempt to do just that. Put on a VR headset, and you're suddenly inside this beautiful amazing alien landscape that is literally right inside you. Finally, students can really picture cells, know the components inside, and understand how they all function together. And most importantly, they can start to ask the right questions.


Cellscape was funded by a very generous grant from the Google Making and Science Team, and it's the first of its kind. I think it's a powerful demonstration of the transformative power of virtual reality in science education. If this is just the beginning, think of what could come next!

Whether we're teaching Chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Earth Science, we're often asking students to picture environments or interactions that are either way too small or way too large to experience first-hand. Virtual reality can be a game-changer in allowing students to develop a solid, intuitive sense of many of the most confounding aspects of science.

Cellscape: The Story
Tour of the Cell: Companion Video
Cellscape: Guided Audio Tour for Kids 
Cellscape: VR Experience without Narration

© 2016 by Waterfish Design.

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