Principal Chris Harris and eighth grade teacher Christine Taylor, along with Fr. Luan Tran, pose with members of St. Agatha’s class of 2019. (Courtesy Holland Studios)
Principal Chris Harris and eighth grade teacher Christine Taylor, along with Fr. Luan Tran, pose with members of St. Agatha’s class of 2019. (Courtesy Holland Studios)

St. Agatha School in Southeast Portland will honor its 13 graduates at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, at St. Agatha Church.

Eighth grader Celia Wenz feels she’s visited many places around the world while standing in her technology lab at St. Agatha.

Thanks to the school’s new Google virtual reality technology, she’s seen a 360 degree view of ancient Greece, the pope celebrating Mass, and more, through goggles. Now it’s time to take that experience to the real world when she graduates from St. Agatha this June.

“It’s fun; it opens up your mind to different places,” says Wenz.

“You can travel throughout the world and throughout history,” adds classmate Alana Keepes.

St. Agatha School purchased the Google Expeditions Kit thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Juan Young Trust. The kit includes 30 virtual reality and augmented reality goggles — more than one per student in each grade. The goggles allow teachers to guide students through hundreds of 360 degree scenes and 3D objects, such as the human body and beyond the globe. Along the way they can point out interesting sites and artifacts, all from their classroom in Sellwood.

“This is a great preparation for high school and beyond,” says Arnaud Prevot, the school’s technology teacher, who helped other teachers learn how to use the kit. “Students will be using augmented reality in their careers, so it is essential that they know how to use it correctly,” said Prevot.

Fifth graders currently are working on their U.S. state reports. “The goggles will allow students to travel to these states and use their sense of sight to get a feel for what these states are really like,” says fifth grade teacher Amber Redoble.

Wenz says seeing places through the goggles now makes her want to see these amazing places in real life.

First stop will be North Carolina, where she’ll be moving after graduation.

Here are the graduates: Grettel Aguilar, Julie Barker, Charlie Buckman, Kaylie Dropinski, Alana Keepes, Grant Klum, Lucy MacNeela, Kylie Morley, Phin O’Hern, Theodore Pashley, Nathaniel Taylor, Joey Wade and Celia Wenz