Software Engineer. Psychologist. Video Game Programmer. Zoologist. Artist. Soldier.
When asked what they want to be when they grow up, these are just a few of the careers the students at the Northeast High School Computer and Information Technology Academy (NEHS CITA) in Clarksville, Tennessee dream about.
Until then, they’ll stick to their day job – but not just any ordinary day job.
Every afternoon, these students gather in the school technology lab to compute, code, and create a world of augmented reality. The young and talented students have not only discovered a passion for computer science, but they’ve developed skills that promise a bright future.
The ability to create their own video games may be an enticing bonus, but that doesn’t stop CITA’s students from using their skills to explore new opportunities and tackle challenging propositions.
In February, ENA joined forces with NEHS CITA to provide a custom augmented reality experience for attendees at the Idaho Education Technology Association (IETA) Conference in Boise, ID.
With just three weeks to complete the task, the students were presented with a problem statement that required them to develop a strategic solution. Working together in teams of twos, the pairs began to design and create a unique and engaging augmented reality application that would drive conference attendees to ENA’s booth.
Although they were faced with an obstacle of multiple snow days, the eight teams diligently worked to present their projects in a school competition held on January 26th.
Northeast High School
The top three apps were then showcased in ENA’s conference booth. Built with the platform Unity Game Development, the three selected apps included:
“My partner and I were attempting to find an anchor image for our game before it occurred to her that we could use a coral reef,” said third place winner and CITA student Tim Sinks. “This anchor inspired us to create an aquarium with swimming fish. While working on the fish, we decided that it would be interesting to create a learning experience out of this.”
Thanks to the hard work of the students, the augmented reality experience was a huge success at the IETA Conference. Attendees interacted and engaged with great enthusiasm, including young elementary students in Idaho seeking advice for their own STEM program.
“The sky is the limit. The resources are all out there, it just takes some self-propelled learning to grasp,” said CITA student Java Curtiss. “I often see students throw in the towel or panic when they don’t understand, but there’s no reason to. Take a deep breath and seek out the information you need to solve your problem.”
At ENA, we strive to work with the future in mind – the future of technology and the future of education. This opportunity was one valuable step in these students’ journeys to perfect their skills, and all of us at ENA are eager and optimistic about where their journeys may lead them.