Despite its importance for mathematics, science and technology, the conceptualization and calculation of volumes and surfaces of geometric solids is a source of difficulties, both in primary and secondary school. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) is a powerful resource to overcome these difficulties and promote learning with understanding that enables students to go beyond current curricular contents. This paper presents a design-research study in 6th grade of primary school, comprising three cycles, that allowed schoolchildren aged 11-12 to tackle a final challenge: the optimization of the surface area of orthohedra of a given volume. The design of the cycles, their implementation and the results obtained are described. Reflections are made on the benefits and drawbacks involved in using IVR in the classroom, and on the methodological strategies that enabled the students to successfully overcome the challenge posed.
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