Exponential Destiny VR Training

Our Collaboration with Exponential Destiny: Empowering Youth Through Virtual Reality

Level Up Philly, a grassroots youth mentoring organization, recently partnered with Exponential Destiny, an educational non-profit organization primarily founded and led by youth entrepreneurs from low-income and marginalized communities. Exponential Destiny explores the untapped potential and power of emerging digital innovations and tools such as Virtual Reality (VR) and ChatGPT to deliver transformative educational impact, societal value, and positive change, especially in underserved communities. This partnership provided an incredible opportunity to introduce our youth to the world of immersive educational experience development, a field that uses advanced technology to create engaging and interactive learning environments that significantly improve knowledge retention and execution.

Meeting of Minds

Our Executive Director, Pastor Aaron Campbell, met with Exponential Destiny’s Executive Director, Marcus Shingles. During their meeting, they discussed the powerful potential of virtual reality as a learning tool. They both agreed that VR could significantly enhance learning outcomes by providing immersive experiences that lead to greater retention and better execution post-experience. Recognizing this potential, they decided that Level Up Philly and Exponential Destiny could work together to introduce youth to careers in immersive educational experience development.

Understanding Immersive Educational Experience Development

Immersive educational experience development involves creating engaging, interactive learning environments using advanced technologies like virtual reality. These environments allow learners to immerse themselves in a subject, making learning more engaging and effective. This method helps in better retention of information and improved application of knowledge in real-world scenarios.

The Crawl, Walk, Run Strategy

Exponential Destiny introduced us to their Crawl, Walk, Run strategy, a structured approach that helps organizations spread awareness and engagement of opportunities among participants through ambassadorship. This strategy involves:

  • Crawl: Introducing the concept and generating initial interest.
  • Walk: Engaging participants more deeply and providing hands-on experiences.
  • Run: Empowering participants to become ambassadors and lead initiatives.

Planning and Preparation

Our staff began planning for the Exponential Destiny team to fly into Philadelphia from California. We also selected 10+ youth who would participate in Exponential Destiny’s training. This training was focused on introducing youth to virtual reality scene creation using an immersive, no-coding platform. Over the past year, Level Up Philly has introduced VR to over 500 youth through VR showcases with our partners, DVNC Tech LLC and OptimaEd, organizations dedicated to providing immersive learning experiences.

Selecting Our Youth

After discussions with youth attending our L.I.F.E. L.A.B. and those coming in for Unc’s Food, we carefully selected our 10 participants, ensuring equal opportunities for both male and female participants. The excitement among the selected youth was evident, as they looked forward to learning and creating in the virtual reality space.

Training Begins

When the Exponential Destiny team arrived, we helped onboard them into our lab. Using the instructor computer, they were able to display their materials on all 12 TVs in the lab. One of the Exponential Destiny trainers remarked, “This lab’s setup is very impressive. We’re excited with how prepared you all are.” With everything set up, the kids entered the lab, and the training began.

Immersive Learning Experience

Over four days, with three-hour training sessions each day, the youth learned how to create VR scenes using Meta Quest 2 and 3 headsets. They interacted with the Executive Director of Exponential Destiny, conversed with the trainers, and received support from our staff. The training sessions were not only educational but also highly engaging, providing the youth with hands-on experience in VR scene creation.

Culmination: VR Creation Competition

The training culminated in a VR creation competition where the kids were challenged to build the best virtual aquarium. The competition entries were exciting and showcased the creativity and skills the kids had developed over the training period. Seeing the youth immersed in the creation process with such intrinsic interest was truly inspiring.

Reflecting on Success

As the training ended, we reflected on the incredible journey our youth had undertaken. They had not only learned new skills but also gained confidence in their ability to create and innovate using advanced technologies. The partnership with Exponential Destiny had provided them with a unique opportunity to explore the world of immersive educational experience development and opened new doors for their future.

Gratitude and Future Prospects

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Exponential Destiny for flying in and assisting our youth and staff with learning about VR scene creation. This collaboration has been instrumental in empowering our youth with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the digital age. We look forward to continuing our partnership and exploring more opportunities to introduce our youth to the exciting world of emerging technologies.

The experience has reaffirmed our commitment to providing transformative educational opportunities to underserved communities. We are excited about the future and the potential to make a lasting impact on the lives of our youth through innovative collaborations like this.

Level Up Philly