Citizen's Spotlight is a weekly series sharing an XR Nation citizen's story.
TARTU, ESTONIA (May 26, 2021) – Futuclass develops educational XR games that teach chemistry and physics. Founded in 2019, Futuclass has been developing games that inspire students to master complex natural sciences in a fun way.
Kristen Tamm, CEO of Futuclass
Two of Futuclass founders, Kristen and Karl, operated the region's biggest VR arcade chain Futuruum. The arcade's most popular game was "Job Simulator" where the player has to do simple tasks in a "job museum". The popularity of this simulation showed us how badly children want to experiment. Witnessing the thirst for self-directed learning made us think, 'what if these hands-on tasks were educational?' inspiring our first prototype. We wanted to create something fun, but, at the same time, helpful in realizing how complex parts of physics or chemistry work. A game designer, artists, programmers, and science teachers joined the team – Futuclass was born. The rest is history.
Futuclass' content covers topics in the upper middle school chemistry and physics curriculum. VR lessons are developed in co-creation with Estonian schools and science teachers and iterated with students in classrooms through many rounds of testing. To date, Futuclass has a library of ten chemistry VR lessons for-9th grade students. VR lessons come in different types: educational escape rooms, mastery-based learning stations, and experimentation labs. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from students and teachers inspires us to create innovative content to bring XR to both classrooms and homeschooling.
Starting from late 2020, we've also been developing Futuclass mobile AR applications for chemistry. The scalability and availability of mobile devices make AR lessons a logical addition to our product line. However, VR remains the best medium for maximum player focus. Isolating the student from surrounding distractions enables deep thinking and ultimate concentration. Interactive learning puzzles in Virtual Reality increase student engagement significantly by involving more senses. The three-dimensional world and real-life examples help students see behind the complex formulas and form connections between the facts.
Futuclass has been used in classroom education in Estonian schools since the beginning of 2020. Homeschoolers can now get access to Futuclass on Steam and soon on Oculus App Lab. At the moment, the content is available in English and in Estonian.
Our short-term focus is to make all Futuclass content available for English-speaking homeschoolers worldwide while setting up user management and progress report features for the Futuclass school version.