SHS Project prepares students for the future of video game design with help from Catawba College

March 24, 2022

Category: Academics, Catawba Impact, Technology

Salisbury High School (SHS) is using video games, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in English Language Arts (ELA) classes with help from Catawba College.

SHS students were tasked with creating their own video games, giving them hands-on experience
creating and developing the setting, characters and plot. Then they worked in groups to select
the best ideas and created the cover, a sales pitch video, a game trailer, a storyboard and an original
illustrations for their proposed games. Thanks to augmented reality, the students shared their projects with the rest of
school, and these students voted for their favorite projects. On the last day of the project,
students traveled through multiple stations to experience the future of game design by participating
in a VR experience.

The project has been implemented in several classrooms that also serve exceptional students (those
with Individual Education Plans) and English language learners. In addition to focusing on
academic and technological skills, he also emphasized interpersonal skills such as creativity,
leadership, teamwork, courtesy, work ethic, communication and problem solving.

“This activity was a way to engage the students by appealing to their interests and allowing them to
work in cooperative groups to showcase their unique skills, experiences and intelligence,” said
SHS Eden Sloop Educational Technology Facilitator.

Staff members and fellow students were blown away by the end results.

“When you don’t put kids in a box, their minds go crazy,” said SHS teacher Kelly Goodman.
Sloop added that they hope this project can spark interest that will lead to future careers for
their students. “Because we train them for jobs that don’t yet exist, you have to be
open-minded and let them create because they will create the jobs of the future,” she said.
Catawba College has joined SHS to open doors for students to do just that.

The teams that worked on the winning projects won a trip to Catawba College for better
learning experience in the Greg and Missie Alcorn Digital Learning Lab. Earl Givens Librarians
and Amanda Bosch, and Jeff Bostian, Learning Technology and Systems Specialist, and Library
Instructional technologist Zach Trivett guided them through hands-on opportunities with
State-of-the-art equipment. Students rotated through stations where teachers provided a
more in-depth experience with VR technology and worked with other cutting-edge technologies
laboratory technologies. The students also toured the college campus and library.

“We have enjoyed hosting SHS students in Alcorn’s digital learning lab and working with
design thinking students as they explored 3D printing, laser engraver design and explored
virtual worlds using Quest 2 headsets,” said Bosch. “We hope this experience will inspire them
continue to solve problems with a design mindset and creative thinking strategies. We watch
look forward to continuing to work in partnership with local K-12 teachers so that more students in our community
can have these kinds of unique experiences.

SHS’s partnership with Catawba College has been going on for years. This project pursues a
collaboration that began during the 2018-2019 school year. The original project included a
“Shark Tank” style sales pitch with Catawba faculty.

Image 1: SHS students Alondra Cruz Jimenez, Mia Noble, Keyasha Harmon and Yasmin
Velasquez Menivar won Enhanced Learning Experience in the Greg and Missie Alcorn Digital
Learning Lab at Catawba College.

Image 2: Alondra Cruz Jimenez works with state-of-the-art technology in the Greg and Missie
Alcorn Digital Learning Lab at Catawba College.

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