Eighteen-year-old Henrique Hissa was still in high school when he created a metaverse to help other students in biology class. The project “Immersive Metaverse Development in Teaching Astrobiology” won third place in ISEF (Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair) – the “World Cup” of science competitions and guaranteed the young man a place in the American University a place.
While many people try to understand what the metaverse is, Hissa has spent two years researching and developing a project that uses high technology to expand educational opportunities. “The proposal is to provide a tool that can be added to the educational process to help students learn without replacing the classroom experience,” explains Hissa.
Under the tutelage of Professor Tiago Bodê, Hissa created a virtual environment to help develop the skills BNCC (Base Nacional Comum Curricular) needs to address issues and challenges. Using virtual reality glasses, you can immerse yourself in the environment and narrative developed by your students.
Two years have been devoted to the development of the project. In the first year, Hissa developed the concept and designed the virtual environment, and in 2021 was awarded the Febrace (Brazilian Science and Engineering Fair) held annually at USP (University of São Paulo). “With my award at Febrace, I was able to attend Isef for the first time, but due to the pandemic, the show was held virtually.”
The second phase of the project includes the development of the virtual environment. “At all stages, I use free software, open access, and open source, indicating that the project can be developed without barriers; computers and virtual reality glasses are provided by the school. ”
With the completion of the project, an award at Mostratec (International Science and Technology Fair) and a new option to participate in Isef. “I went in person as one of the representatives of the Brazilian delegation, and it was an incredible experience, both with colleagues and during a presentation.”
ISEF brought together 1,750 finalists from 63 countries, with Brazil’s Henrique Hissa in third place. “At the fair, which represents the ‘World Cup of Science’, he is one of the three best in the world and shows that the research carried out in Brazil is of high quality if there are incentives”, comments Professor Colégio Dante Alighieri and professor of the project Director, Thiago Bode.
Prior to ISEF, scientific research by Brazilian students received more than 20 awards, including 1st place in Febrace and Mostratec, the Federation Award for Best Science Pre-Start Project in the State of São Paulo, and an award from the National Youth Science Foundation of the United States Consulate.
This international award opens doors for American universities. In September of this year, he began studying at the University of Minnesota. “I will take a computer science course, but I intend to return to Brazil and contribute to reducing inequality in the country,” he concluded.