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Bryant student athletes using virtual reality to recognize concussion symptoms

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Virtual reality -- it's typically used in gaming, but now it's being used for educational purposes to tackle a health issue on the fields, courts, and boxing rings.

Bryant High School student-athletes have become the first in the state to learn about concussions via CrashCourse's VR goggles. The goal is to teach athletes to recognize symptoms should any of them experience a concussion in real life.

"Some of my friends have had concussions," soccer player and high school junior Ashton Inman said. "Some of them took a break from it, but then some of them ignored it; so the video showed like it's really dangerous."

Inman and her peers got a firsthand feel for what it's like to have a concussion.

"I've never had a concussion, but now if I do, I need to actually take it seriously," Inman added.

In VR, the athletes were given the choice to continue playing in the game, or seek medical help.

Company leaders and departments of education and health are pushing for more concussion education. They say one in five high school student-athletes will experience a concussion.

"A lot of our students that suffer concussions don't know that they have," Anthony Owen with the Department of Education said. "Awareness is a major component of this; being able to recognize those symptoms, being able to make good decisions for themselves, to push back maybe if they think they shouldn't play."

Symptoms of a concussion can include blacking out, disorientation, lack of concentration, and poor balance.

The VR training is done all in an effort to empower young athletes so they know what's best for them.

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Governor Asa Hutchinson launched the Computer Science Initiative back in 2015, and that helped the Department of Education get VR equipment for every school in the state.

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