July 15, 2013

VREP Showcase

In closing this series of posts, I wanted to provide an example of the kind of work students produce in the VREP program, as seen in Alec Dalton’s  (a sophomore from Central City, Iowa) YouTube demonstration.

The VREP program smartly likes to create traction by showcasing the work of students through an annual public event. This year, the VREP Showcase was held on April 9th at the Meadows Center in Des Moines. Ten students from each participating school showcase their virtual reality and 3D work. This year’s showcase featured over 500 VREP students and educators from over 40 schools throughout Iowa and several other states. Kim Reynolds, Iowa’s Lt. Governor, and Mary Vermeer Andringa, President and CEO of Vermeer Corporation, were featured speakers.

This event also featured strong post-high school connections for students. Past graduates were invited to speak about their career choices. Jacob Meade, currently a Sophomore at UNI and former VREP Student, discussed his career choice and how he continues to use his VREP skills in his chosen profession as a future movie director/producer. Various colleges also attended the showcase, helping inform students about what they have to offer them to continue their work in STEM related fields. Technology companies like Grasshorse Studio also attend the Showcase, observing and providing feedback to students, as well as providing connections to their respective industries. Companies that would be interested in being VREP sponsors for future showcases are encouraged to contact the initiative director, Rex Kozak.

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