SALEM, Ohio — Imagine pushing an elevator button and getting inside. The doors open seconds later to a beam jutting out into nothing but air, from the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago. Now imagine walking across that beam, heart beating faster, nerves fluttering, seeing the ground so far below. Some high school students from Leetonia and Lisbon did just that Friday — all from the safety of the Kent State Salem virtual reality lab. The volunteers brave enough to take part donned goggles tethered to a computer to see the 3-D image while walking a beam about 1 inch from the floor. Fellow students could view what they were seeing on a screen on the wall.
Virtual reality was one of several activities the freshmen and sophomores experienced during their visit to the university campus during the first of three STEM days being held on successive Fridays through a program directed by the Columbiana County Educational Service Center. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.