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Augmented RealityGrade 11 students Jasmin Skinner and Lauren MacDonald checking out the holograms projected by AR headsets November 30.

Raina Watson
Co-op Student

Imagine you're at the peak of Mount Everest looking down over the Himalayas alongside your escalation team but you're doing it from the safety of ground level without the cold wind in your face, or the dangers of falling off the side. This can be done using Virtual Reality technology which students in computer technology classes at Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS) got to experience November 30.

Representatives from Bruce Power and the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) worked together with computer science teacher Lesley Parker to organize an afternoon of tech fun, that would also give students an insight into the world of Information Technology (IT) and the amazing variety of jobs available in the IT field; and not just revolving around coding as you might think.

Bruce Power representative Branko Veljovic said, “Whatever you want to be you can be now in IT, because we need writers, we need technical writers, project management, all these things; and that’s why we’re here today, to show young people the options they have in the future.”

The presentation achieved that goal, drawing students into the topic and opening their eyes to what kind of things are available to them in the future. The students also had an opportunity to check out technology that is useful but also fun.

Students learned about and tested current technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), illustrating the ability to simulate being in an entirely different location or 'world' with VR headsets connected to a computer. AR headsets can overlay digital information into real surroundings without even being attached by a cord, just like a hologram that the user can interact with through a motion sensor on the device. By clicking it, the user can move the projected 'object' around with ease.

These technologies have potential for training purposes inside Bruce Power where they can minimize exposure to radiation by having a digital version of the vault or reactor that apprentices can see almost to the actual scale. As well as being used for training AR technology can be used by graphic designers, medical professionals, or architects to have a 3D view of what they're working on, with the ability to also pull it apart and get a closer and more detailed look inside.

Apart from getting to test out the cool tech, students got to connect what they were learning in their computer science classes to the presentation. Representatives showed students how the application BI (Business Intelligence) can be used to analyze data from their classes’ made SDSS mini golf game. The report displayed player statistics such as game scores, average stroke by hole and by hour, and number of attempts. The report also allowed them to see deeper into the set up of the game with visuals of the reports so they can take that information and use it to improve on the game itself.

fionaCorey Weichenthal, Bruce Power representative (right), showing student Fiona Miller (left) the ropes of the augmented reality headset November 30.

VRGrade 11 student Rahul Pandya leaning over the edge of Mount Everest in the Virtual Reality (VR) simulator November 30.

SDSS mini golfFrom left, Stan Bulman-Fleming and William McKinnie testing out their computer science classes’ self made SDSS mini golf game, optimizing its performance.

Mrs.Parker JustinStudent Justin Sadorra and computer science teacher Lesley Parker exploring some careers in IT November 30.

Submarine computer partStudents examine a 4KB core memory component from an early 1970s USSR submarine. Four million of these would equate to 4GB of data today. 


CareyOptical final