While the next generation of educational technologies (ET), such as monitor-based (MB) and virtual reality (VR) applications, are still in their infancy, they do show promise for improving education. In this study, we compared MB and VR educational technologies as alternative supplemental learning environments to traditional classroom instruction using lectures, textbooks, and physical labs. We conducted the study in four high school chemistry classes, as chemistry education is well-suited for visually enhanced explanations for learning abstract concepts, and provides a solid testing situation for current and extended reality ET. Ultimately, this research project serves as a foundation to determine whether ETs have the potential to engage high school students in their STEM classes. Successful integration of ET into the public school system curricula may be a viable solution to engage students in STEM education.