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Virtual reality engineering summer camp: a pathway to architecture, engineering, and construction

Castronovo, F., Mastrolembo Ventura, S. and Nikolic, D. (2022) Virtual reality engineering summer camp: a pathway to architecture, engineering, and construction. In: International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, 16-18 Nov 2022, Chung-Ang University, South Korea, pp. 1169-1177.

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To promote paths to undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), a university in North California, California State University East Bay, developed the Virtual Reality Engineering Summer Camp (VRES Camp). The camp ran from July 29th to August 9th, 2019, with the goal to offer a model summer high-school camp and engage future undergraduate STEM participants as designers and developers of immersive and interactive environments (i.e., virtual reality simulations). Another goal was to promote and inspire the pursuit and ultimately increase in retention of students wanting to engage in STEM professional or undergraduate degrees by helping them acquire a wide range of knowledge and skills. Using gaming and human-computer interaction design principles, the participants were challenged to engage in fun and interactive activities. For example, the participants had to explore simulation research, talk with professionals and industry representatives, code with C# coding language, and build a virtual reality simulation using SketchUp, Unity, and Oculus Rift S. To support the building of the virtual reality simulation, the participants were introduced to the knowledge, skills, and behaviours necessary to pursue STEM degrees. In particular, the students were introduced to the engineering design process, engineering careers, and theories of multimedia learning, visualisation, virtual reality, and serious gaming. The results from an exit survey reveal a positive impact the camp had on the students. Specifically, the students indicated a strong career interest in STEM disciplines and rated their perceived success and engagement in the camp activities highly. Moreover, students’ ability to meet the camp learning objectives by developing virtual reality prototypes demonstrated that the students gained strong problem-solving and work-ready skills, which are key to their success in their advanced educational and professional careers.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:111762


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