On Wednesday December 12th OPIM Innovate hosted some special guests from South Windsor High School. These guests were students enrolled in Ellen Festi’s class on Entrepreneurship. This course teaches students at the high school how different technologies disrupt businesses and Ms. Festi thought there would be no better way to introduce students to its emerging technologies than at the University of Connecticut’s very own OPIM Innovate.
The students began the day with an introduction to the initiative and some of its outstanding employees. Here MIS Director Jonathan Moore was able to teach the students the purpose of the program and show them around the Innovation Space. The students then rotated amongst three stations in order to gain hands on experience in Virtual Reality. In the first station students were able to use Google Cardboard, Innovate’s entry level Virtual Reality experience. Google Cardboard allows students to experience Virtual Reality directly from their phones, using an app and the Google Cardboard headset. The next rotation was the HTC Vive. The HTC Vive is one of the department’s most advanced virtual reality opportunities complete with headset, backpack, and controllers, for students to achieve a completely immersive virtual reality experience. The third and final rotation allowed for students to use some of the educational games the department has to offer such as SnapCircuits and Bloxels.
After a quick lunch break the students were able to explore the Gladstein Research lab’s other offerings such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing, Microcontrollers and Analytics. The field-trip was a wonderful introduction to emerging technologies that they otherwise would not have had access to. Many of the students expressed great interest in the tools the OPIM Department has to offer and most have said they’re interested in attending the university.