High school students are experiencing the world through Virtual Reality, touring world sites and also the machinery that makes it possible without leaving their city.
In Olean, New York, students from Salamanca High School toured 360RIZE as part of National Manufacturing Day, viewing the Olean 360 degree video company’s virtual reality equipment. VR footage included a coral reef, elephants, a skier’s view while going down a mountain, and a Mexican parade. All were captured by 360RIZE’s patented camera assemblies.
“A lot of (the students) when they first came here are like, ‘What is this all about?’” said 360RIZE CEO and founder Michael Kintner. He started the company from his garage on Queen Street in 2012. “Then when you show them the story and the history of how you can be from a small town area and graduate and create something that can be seen worldwide, it inspires young generations like this.”
Kintner and other manufacturers want to inspire high school students to enter the STEM fields using science, technology, engineering, and math. They also want to show them STEM career opportunities that are local. Over 700 high school students came to the Dream It Do It Western New York’s annual Manufacturing Day event to tour 18 companies in the area along with educational facilities.
“The students were amazing. They were so inquisitive, asking questions, they were interested, they were making connections with what they were doing in the classroom,” said DIDI-WNY Project Coordinator Evelyn Sabina. She added that manufacturers not only gave students tours of their facilities, but also created hands-on activities for the students to try.