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IYM Willa Young Capital E VR
Willa Young at Capital E, experimenting with VR. IYM 2019, session 1.

IYM young women visit Capital E in Wellington

2019 marks the third year of the Innovative Young Minds (IYM) programme. IYM is designed to encourage young women to explore science, technology, engineering, mathematics and high-tech manufacturing. The week-long residential programme is open to female Year 11 and Year 12 students, and runs during the July school holidays each year.

This year, for the first time, IYM is running two sessions:

  • 40 young women are in each week long session, increasing the total attending to 80 for 2019
  • the young women attending come from all around NZ this year, instead of being limited to participants from Wellington region only
  • the first session is in the first week  (7 – 12) and the second session is in the second week (14 – 19) of the July school holidays

During these sessions a chosen, participating student will be writing an article on their time with some of the awesome companies they are visiting. Here is the first in their series:

On Monday 8 July I was lucky enough to be with this year’s first session of IYM, we went into Wellington to visit Capital E.

At Capital E we all learnt about Virtual Reality (VR) technology and Augmented Reality (AR) software. Using software called Unity we got to make our own little worlds while learning VR design. I loved taking something from my imagination and putting it on screen! Rebecca Caulson, who was on the program with me said that Capital E was “wicked fun!” When I asked her about her experience.

In Unity, we learnt how to use the terrain tool to landscape our world and then added textures to paint our world in the colours we wanted. We made grassy hills and ice peaked mountains. Then learnt about 3D props, things like trees and volcanoes. And animated models, things like animals who walked and flew where we told them to. After we created our worlds we could download them onto a phone and view them in VR!

I am really interested in Computer Science and am considering studying it after high school. Visiting Capital E was really great for this because it has shown me even more paths I can explore in Computer Science. I like programming but I don’t know much about VR and now I can’t wait to learn more. I am excited to download Unity and learn more about how VR works and to also learn about game design. I didn’t know much about VR before visiting Capital E. Unity is a great way to learn about VR without having to learn a programming language, I can take a more creative approach and follow my imagination which is especially amazing and fun to do.

Capital E opened my eyes to a world I had never really experienced before. It was great seeing how VR was made and it was awesome seeing what everyone created as well.

Author: Willa Young, Year 11 at Wellington East Girls’ College.

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