East Boston High Computer Science students have a tradition of making the most out of limited resources. The first computers used in Computer Science classes were assembled from parts scavenged by students from various old, unused classroom computers. Today we work in a menagerie of old machines and operating systems, but students are able to take AP Computer Science, Honors CSC, and Computer Graphics courses.
Eastie students are a resourceful and motivated bunch, but we have started to reach the limits of what we can do with our ancient hardware.
Recently we gained access to an Oculus Rift and we had to scramble to come up with enough machines for the students (working in groups, bringing in their own machines, etc.) to develop VR apps in Unity and test and modify on the VR machine. To my knowledge we were the only class participating in this loan program to actually write software for the oculus, rather than simply use provided software.
Thanks to other generous donors we have started to build a VR program here at Eastie. We have obtained (some) computers for development in Unity, and now would like to give the students more consistent access to a VR headset to test and improve their Apps.
With a loaner headset and a hodgepodge of older computers we were able to create numerous VR apps in a three week "pilot;" now we would like to provide more consistent access to the tools needed to take this to the next level.
This technology has the potential to engage students who might otherwise not feel interested in Computer Science.
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