YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A new program at the Choffin Career and Technical Center prepares students for careers in the rapidly growing fields of virtual reality and game development.
The interactive program and game design course at the school is in its second year. Teachers and students demonstrated what they learned at the open door on Thursday. The classroom has dozens of computer stations and a separate lab to create and test animation and games.
Mike Savill, director of Choffin, said the course “combines IT with graphic arts with a focus on augmented reality and virtual reality settings, as well as game design”.
Students graduate with a range of skills that can be used as a gateway to any lamp they choose for their major – coding, visual arts, film, advertising, or metavers development.
“They leave with a briefcase [of their projects] that they can go to college or school, ”Savill said.
The course has 14 seniors taught by Donald Helemann. Students, he said, use new technology to learn skills that allow them to create content.
“I think most of it is augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR),” Heleman said. “They create an object and test it on a virtual reality headset.”
Metaverse technology allows users to experience a live event, such as a sporting event or concert, from a distance.
“It’s the future,” Hilman said. “My students learn how to create, program, create artwork, sound and everything. When they leave our building, they are meta-developers.”
While VR and AR technology is spreading across a variety of industries, those working in the field can work remotely from anywhere, including Youngstown.
“It’s a unique field,” Hileman said. “The world is their job market. They can work anywhere in any company.”
Most of the students were drawn to the class because of their love of the game and their desire to create games. But the skills they acquire translate into many related fields, including animation and virtual reality.
Students use Unreal Engine virtual reality software, which is popular in this field.
“Now it’s used for architectural visualization,” Hileman said. “You can wear a VR headset and go through the building before it’s built.” The automotive industry also uses it to design cars, and the Disney series The Mandalorian uses Unreal Engine to create a 3D world on display, Hillman said.
Ayman Harris, a student of the course, said he had been playing video games for years and wanted to learn how to connect them. The class, he said, “gives a broad view of the whole scene.”
His classmate Tyler Paris said most students want to get involved in game design after graduation. While the course teaches everything from coding to animation, students should finally be in their place. “You’re interested in one thing,” Paris said. “Everyone has a profession. I’m interested in 3D modeling. “
Justin Clark, another graduate of the course, said he intends to stay with the field. After graduating, she wants to study programming in college or high school.
Pictured above: Tyler Paris, Ayman Harrison and Justin Clark at a computer lab in Choffin. Students are seniors who have an interactive course in programming and game design.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.