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STEM Summer Bridge
STEM Academy students spend summer creating virtual reality tour
Posted on 09/04/2018
This is the image for the news article titled STEM Academy students spend summer creating virtual reality tourBy Lhaisha Contreras
Students entering the Canutillo High School STEM Academy didn’t waste any time this summer. They utilized Google Expedition virtual reality hardware and software to create a 360-degree sphere of different parts of their school during the CHS STEM Summer Bridge Program. This expedition highlights sites around the school and information that showcases the history of Canutillo High to help students strengthen pride in their school.

The students got the idea to showcase different parts of the high school from a field trip to the Digital Information Gateway (DIGIE) Wall in downtown El Paso. While learning about the history of El Paso, the students were concerned that Canutillo history was not being displayed on the DIGIE Wall. While learning how to use Google Base Apps as well as VR hardware, they created a virtual reality tour of the Canutillo Community and High School.

“The students discovered that their successes were not represented and that's concerning,” Canutillo High School Assistant Principal and STEM Coordinator Christopher Judge said. “The opportunity to go Downtown opened their eyes. But, why not use technology and research to help and get a better understanding of where they come from – what Canutillo is about.”

Judge explained that this project consisted of multiple student groups and clubs, such as biomedical and robotics, that came together to form an alliance to also learn about the history of Canutillo. Motivated, the students came back to Canutillo HS and started working. In the period of a week, they documented their research of historical happenings within Canutillo and incorporated it into the final project as a virtual reality tour.

“Students used and applied past knowledge to the new situation,” Judge added. “They used their creativity, imagination, innovation and metacognition. They also learned how to manage their time wisely when completing their research and VR Expedition 360 sphere.”

The Summer Bridge Program and project equipment were made possible by a $15,000 grant from Educate Texas. The students documented their accomplishments at polly.google.com, search “Canutillo.”