Students get real with gaming, design, and STEAM at UTA

The University of Texas at Arlington’s Studio Createc hosted DFW area high school students to learn mobile game development.  Each summer, the UTA Art + Art History Department offers the SEED summer workshop tuition free for a select group of high school students. Students learn the creative process and techniques required to craft a work of art during an intense two week period.

In partnership with North Central Texas Council of Government and the DFW Aerospace Consortium, this year’s participants are getting real world experience by helping to create an aerospace mobile app sponsored by Lockheed Martin, Alliance Airport, and Airbus.

The students are taking part in an aircraft design competition, through which the winner will have their design included in the aerospace game being developed by UTA’s Studio Createc.  Students also have the opportunity to test the game and give crucial feedback.

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Studio Createc is an organization within the UTA College of Liberal Arts that handles grants and outside client work.  Studio Createc is developing the mobile game for NCTCOG and the DFW Aerospace Consortium, with the goal of increasing participation in STEM programs for local middle and high school students.  The program was developed to open students’ minds to aviation/aerospace careers and what it takes to achieve those dreams.  Getting high school involvement during the game’s development is a chief goal of NCTCOG and the Consortium.

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“This mobile app has great potential to reach students through a fun game that brings in educational components and an introduction to aviation/aerospace careers,” said Natalie Bettger, Senior Program Manager for NCTCOG. “We would like to thank the sponsors and our UTA partners for bringing this concept to life.”

Reminiscent of the game Flappy Bird, the aerospace mobile app players will fly a variety of aircraft through a series of obstacle courses. Players will progress through multiple stages and unlock new types of aircraft from Airbus and Lockheed Martin, including the C-130J Hercules, F-35 Lightning II.  The game will include aerospace and aviation trivia questions that will add points to the player’s scores if answered correctly. Links to sponsors’ websites will help students discover future career possibilities and educational path to succeed in the aerospace industry.

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UTA Professor Joshua Wilson is developing and managing the project alongside an undergraduate artist Crysi-Jean Bamberger.  Bamberger, herself, is a former participant in the SEED workshop.

“During SEED, I had a chance to experience deadlines and working within a pipeline involving people from different areas of interest. Game development is a lengthy multidisciplinary field where I learned how to digitally paint and 3D model,” said Bamberger. “Because games became a platform where I could interact with my art and SEED had a knowledgeable staff, I chose to go to University of Texas at Arlington for my undergraduate degree.”

The aerospace app is scheduled to release in September 2016 and will be available free in the Apple App Store, Amazon AppStore and Google Play.

For interest in funding or working with Studio Createc, contact Studio Createc Director Scott Cook at gregory.cook@uta.edu.

 

 

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