Science education has placed more emphasis on laboratory experience than on classroom learning in recent years. Students practice the scientific method in the laboratory to substantiate theory learned in the classroom. Unfortunately, laboratory facilities and modern test equipment are very expensive. Many schools cut corners by purchasing minimal laboratory instruments and demonstrating to a group rather than supporting an individual experience with enough equipment for each student team. Virtual laboratories solve this dilemma. Students can get the opportunity to use and interact with equipment that, even though virtual, behaves and functions as they do in real life.
There are already a few Virtual Laboratories available. The software available in the virtual reality physics world is often limited and frequently not very robust. It is also very expensive, although much cheaper than hardware. This usually limits virtual laboratory software acquisition to educational institutions, since they are still economically out of reach for most individuals. All scientific software is extremely expensive, even student versions. What we need is something similar to what Linux did to the operating system world. We need an open source virtual laboratory that offers free access to everyone. This approach requires backers, since the programmers pay rent just like everyone else.
The most cost effective method to get up and running is to develop a minimal virtual laboratory system on a platform like VRCHAT. I know of at least one other VR group that started this way. The headsets are not inexpensive and programming requires both facilities and wages. We are looking for US$50,000 to get started. This should finance a basic laboratory facility and some rudimentary physics experiments within the first six months of development.