Science lessons that let students step into the world through virtual reality will soon be shared across the world.
VictoryVR, the Davenport-based virtual reality science curriculum company, has been acquired, in part, by Kendall Hunt, a leading textbook publisher based in Dubuque, Iowa. It's also partnered with Master Concepts, a Hong-Kong based distributor of school-related software that will distribute the curriculum in the Asian markets.
VictoryVR, Davenport, is owned by Steve Grubbs and co-founded by Dave Hageman and Brian Dumas. Grubbs met Master Concept's CEO, Dennis Wong, in Vancouver, Canada, and worked out a deal, he said.
Grubbs next expects to sign virtual reality agreements with a Caribbean/Canadian and Indian distributors. The prospect of partnering with a distributor in India is exciting, he said, as the country is vast, and English is frequently spoken, so the materials do not have to be translated.
VictoryVR is the only firm in the United States creating virtual reality curriculum based on existing national Next Gen Science Standards.
The middle school curriculum is a supplement to 24 "VR books," intended to support instructors as they teach courses that change rapidly. Each VR module includes five experiences: Virtual field trips, interactive 360 activities, movies in a virtual theater and assessments connected to the cloud.
"Science curriculum is largely the same world-wide so this is a product that can work, internationally," Grubbs said.
Kendall Hunt offers VictoryVR a national K-12 infrastructure, Grubbs said. He met with Chad Chandlee, the company president, and when Chandlee saw the VictoryVR product he wanted to work with it.
The growth means a positive economic impact in the city.
In the last several weeks, VictoryVR has been hiring, Grubbs said. There are two new sales people, three new development contractors, and the national curriculum specialist is now full-time.
He also hires graphic designers, VR programmers, video editors and game developers, both in Davenport and remotely, Grubbs said.
"We're optimistic," Grubbs said of the VictoryVR products. "It's rolling out well. We think we'll see rapid deployment around the world in the next 18 months."