Virtual reality film program earns national recognition
Virtual reality film program earns national recognition
Posted on 06/01/2018
Student in classroom with title

A Utica Community Schools student film program that has earned national and international attention has received another prestigious award for its innovative use of new technology.

The Utica Center for Science and Industry’s virtual reality film making program is one of 22 projects honored this month through District Administration Magazine’s annual TechXcellence program.

 “This national recognition demonstrates again how effectively Utica Community Schools students are using the same virtual reality technology now transforming business and industry,” superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “Through innovation and teamwork, our students are creating impactful messages that are resonating with audiences at all levels.”

The virtual reality film program was initiated through the national 360° Filmmakers Challenge sponsored by Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization working to spur innovation in education. The Filmmakers Challenge engages young people to produce 360° films that make an impact.

The partnership provided students with a high-resolution 360-degree camera and Virtual Reality equipment. Students worked under the direction of UCSI teacher Michael Allore.

The Tour, the film created this year by students using the equipment, has already earned national international attention for its message of the importance of the arts and creativity in education.

The student production earned two of the top six awards in the filmmakers competition, including the overall winner of the “Make Waves” Award for inspiring action for positive change

The film was also featured by the United Nations in a showcase of virtual reality films that profiled specific challenges being faced by individuals across the globe.

Future projects for UCSI students include a virtual tour of the program’s Career and Technical Education classes, and developing a showcase of local manufacturing featuring students visiting area businesses.

TechXcellence is sponsored by HP and Intel
to recognize schools that have implemented innovative, effective and replicable technology programs that contribute meaningfully to student or operational success. This is the second year for this national recognition program.

The June 2018 honorees were selected by the program’s judges from numerous nominations, and reflect programs that demonstrate effective and replicable success. The programs are featured in the magazine’s current edition.

“What these stories tell us is that students are excited to use the latest devices and applications as part of their education, which is fueled by the vision and drive of teachers, principals and district leaders,” says JD Solomon, editorial director at District Administration magazine. “We hope our readers are inspired by the integration of technology demonstrated by these honorees to launch similar initiatives in their own schools.”

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