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Wave Energy, Virtual Reality System, Demonstration, Hands-On Learning
We have conducted an education project to communicate the wave energy concept to high school students. A virtual reality system that combines both hardware and software is developed in this project to simulate the buoy-wave interaction. This first-of-its-kind wave energy unit is portable and physics-based, allowing students to conduct a number of hands-on activities. This system is the core component of an educational experience that integrates demonstration and hands-on learning, with an aim of introducing the wave energy conversion process to students in an interactive environment. Presentations have been made at two different high schools with diverse student populations, and students involved in this project rated very positively about their learning experience. As revealed by their feedback, the virtual environment and its combination with the hardware are the most important factors that help students to appreciate the knowledge in the wave energy conversion process.