El Dorado High School to possibly receive virtual reality technology

Partnership with state and Facebook provides virtual reality technology

EL DORADO, Ark. - 2017 September 09

Scott Ratchford says the E.A.S.T or Environmental and Spatial Technology programs allow students to think outside the box.

"I started to design a 3D printing store where students or teachers could either bring a custom 3D file to us to use our 3D printers and create and sell to them," he said.

Now, that box may have gotten even bigger.

El Dorado High is in the process of applying for virtual reality kits that look much like this one, called an Oculus Rift.

It's all a part of an agreement with Facebook to give Arkansas high school students access to Computer Science education to create greater interest in the career field.

"Whenever we can't go on field trips, if we have 360-degree photographs or video of any place, we can use that to simulate going to that place without having to leave the school," said Ratchford.

The high school student was already exploring several jobs in the Computer Science field, but he says this has opened up even more potential career options.

"Having access to this technology at this age could accelerate my learning of different virtual reality headsets, and use it in the future."

Principal Alva Reibe says that's exactly what they want.

"One of the things that the state's hoping for is that it will encourage students to look at STEM careers, and so I do think there will be a bigger focus on technology and encouraging students to explore those careers," she said.

While Ratchford patiently waits for their school to embark on this new journey, he says he can't wait to see what new experiences he will take from it when the time comes.

 


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