High definition 3D models and real scientific data will be used to create astounding virtual recreations of significant sites for students.

CSIRO has teamed-up with software experts to develop the next level of computer-based science education. The newly-formed 3D Online Education partnership is bringing experts from CSIRO together with a team from ‘3P Learning’, to develop immersive digital environments for the new platform, ‘IntoScience’.

The designs will mirror real-life places, enabling students to explore stunning locations from their home or classroom, and even learn some science skills along the way.

“Imagine walking beneath the dense canopy of the Daintree rainforest, understanding the forces holding up the Sydney Harbour Bridge or exploring the life found amongst the elaborate underground structures of the Jenolan Caves,” CSIRO Research Leader Professor Jay Guo said.

“We’re very excited to be working with the team at 3P Learning to integrate their latest educational resource IntoScience with high-definition panoramic video and 3D models of real places scanned using our award winning laser mapping technology Zebedee.”

The game will take the basic outline from the classic role-playing format popular worldwide. Students will create a personal avatar through which they can live out a research journey from the laboratory to the field, with side-missions to the past and future.

As well as high-resolution models, the program will feature HD panoramic videos from the locations being re-created.

It is hoped to have school students in grades five to eight trialling the new real-life landscapes by mid 2014.

More information is available here