Camping simulation style

Published 9:47 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Forget the tents and campfires, there is a new camping experience for area students this fall.

The Southeastern Virginia Partnership for Regional Transformation (SEVA-PORT) and Tidewater Community College are offering four technology camps this season, which are available on Saturday mornings in October and November at selected TCC campuses throughout Hampton Roads.

The camps are free for Hampton Roads high school students (ages 16 to 18), and give students the opportunity to learn about modeling and simulation technologies and careers from five different topic areas, including physics of gaming, Web design, basic gaming, computer networking, and advanced gaming.

“It’s a good way to pull (students) in as a way of saying, ‘Hey, look you can have a career that’s doing stuff that’s neat and fun,” said Jody Strausser, head of TCC’s modeling and simulation program. “We’re all just trying to bring them into this whole world of modeling and simulation. It’s constantly evolving, so we‘ve just got to keep getting people interested in it.”

On top of bringing in new recruits to the field, participants can also prepare for college credit.

According to a SEVA-PORT release, students who successfully complete the three Saturday sessions may be eligible to take Gaming and Simulation in Spring 2010 as a dual enrollment course at TCC.

“It’s a great opportunity for them,” Strausser said. “It gives students an introduction to the possibilities, whether they are artistic or more technical – it doesn’t matter. There is a need for all the various levels of skills in this field.”

These camps are just one step to SEVA-PORT’s ultimate plan to provide more educational opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in technology. Thanks to a $5 million grant from the Department of Labor, SEVA-PORT has also partnered with Old Dominion University to provide free modeling and simulation camps for students over the summer. Additionally, staff members from the partnership are developing curriculum guides for TCC, as well as the high schools, to prepare graduates for work in the technology fields.

To get more information or to register for the camps, people can call Johnna Coleman-Yates at TCC at 822-1234.