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Empowering Youth through Tech

Posted at 6:21 PM, Dec 14, 2023

HAILEY, ID — Wood River High School teachers are allowing students to guide their learning in various technology classes.

  • Explore the exciting world of e-sports with Marcelita Loosli's students. Learn from "The Creator," Carter Thompson, about how playing games isn't just for fun, it could be your ticket to college.
  • Dylan Carey's robotics class uses collaboration and brainstorming to pair with cutting-edge tools like CAD.
  • Meet Robert Estrada Chavez, the tech magician fixing Chromebooks at Wood River High School

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Youth often answer how technology can be applied to their future. Marcelita Loosli invited me to her prep period to meet with some of her students in Game Design and E-Sports. Immediately I learned gaming isn't the same as when I was a kid.

Carter "The Creator" Thompson explained, "I think the biggest thing with e-sports Is, they're starting to give out scholarships. So it's a very good entry rate to get into colleges that you might not otherwise be able to afford.

The success found in her classroom is because student have found a genuine interest where they invest their own time whether before or after school, during lunch to refine their practice.

Marcelita Loosli the Information Technology Teacher told me, "They [Students] would have the same issue someone had previously had so they were able to help each other out and figure things out."

In Dylan Carey’s robotics class, students share their ideas with one another to prosper. McCade Wilson modeled their launcher after Hank's robot and provided rationale, "We're taking his design, we're putting it up higher so we can launch it over easier."

The process to build can be initiated as trial and error but to find success at the vex world championship, these students have delved into cad and other software an environment that Carey has shifted from the traditional setting.

Dylan Carey the Engineering / Robotics Teacher elaborated, "How do we take this template they've seen in schools, you know, worksheet quiz test, repeat and transform that into a real world application where you just want to learn about engines. You want to learn how to work on your car. You want to learn to be an engineer and you're struggling in your class in college and you need to figure it out yourself. Well, we're gonna try to learn how to, how to learn if you will."

And Luke Miller directly applied this lesson, "In 360. It allows us to first model a robot and then build it. So we're not messing with all the tolerances and stuff allows us to get spacing., pretty much exact, but we do have to account for tolerances , to see what's gonna break that kind of stuff."

This skill is applied to Loosli’s class as well, while someone may anticipate these games to be basic, 2D, some students fall down rabbit holes, spending an estimated 80 hours on their projects. One self-proclaimed "Cool Guy" name Titan Tong described his demise, "“First of the goal is just to have a boss fight and then from there, it just kind of snowballed to be like, oh, if I have a boss fight should have an opening. If I have an opening, I should have like an ending scene. If I have a any scene, maybe I should have another level to make it feel like you actually did something to get there.”

But in this setting, students are also able to delve into the dynamics of how a computer functions. Robert Estrada Chavez who has attained his Level 3 Computer Technician certificate explained how he has made his job at the school efficient, "So it's just better to EOL all them, which means end of life. So we can use those extra parts like this, we can use all the different components inside of this and use it for other ones.

These students are applying lessons learned today, to their future.