Ohio University Receives Grant for Virtual Boat

Ohio University in Athens County has been awarded an environmental education grant of $45,253 from the Ohio EPA for a virtual learning experience.

This Ohio EPA grant will allow a Virtual Boat iPad and desktop computer game to be created in order to help expand learning efforts in environmental issues for high school students. Students will be able to conduct two- and three-dimensional water sampling along a virtual river using an existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database. The database will simulate current river conditions from Marietta to Gallipolis and information from a Global Positioning System (GPS) will teach students how to index water quality and locate fish kills and pollutants.

Students will “test” for dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, biochemical oxygen demand, temperature change, total phosphate, nitrate, turbidity, and total solids. Results will be based on real data collected by the university and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO).

The game will be field-tested with students and teachers at two high schools in Athens and Meigs counties. Additionally, the game will be demonstrated to the public through one-week exhibits at public libraries in the two counties, and a Research and Create Activity Expo at the university.