By Jessica Compton & Jason Hall

A group of high school students from Hagerty High School in Oviedo took first place in the second annual Modeling and Simulation Student Day held at UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training.

The student team created Bio Blaster, a Virtual Reality turret game, which aims to help students learn various curriculum standards taught in Florida biology classes.  A player steps into a platform and slides on a VR headset to begin. The game features four levels, each with its own educational standards. Users also learn about the different components found in the human bloodstream.

The team was one of 14 from eight high schools and technical schools, representing four Florida counties that participated in the event.

Team Orlando, a collaborative alliance of military organizations working in modeling, simulation and training organized the event. The day was created to encourage high school students to pursue careers in these fields. Orlando is considered one of the nation’s strongest modeling, simulation and training hubs in the nation. Several groups, including Lockheed-Martin, the National Center for Simulation and the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems, which make their home in Central Florida sponsor the event. For a second year, IST open its doors to the student exhibits and provided the public the opportunity to visit and vote for their favorite project.

“Central Florida has a rich history of excellence in this area and it is wise to invest in our future,” says IST Interim Director Wes Naylor. “As an educational leader in this area, we must do our part to support students who demonstrate creativity in approaching problems and improving our lives. That’s the kind of thinking we need to continue to lead this industry.”

The Overse team (also from Hagerty High School) for example, constructed a 360- degree surveillance drone out of 3D-printed and laser cut pieces. The team’s goal was to develop a cost-effective drone for search and rescue missions, police operations, and other applications. Students presented trial and error data to show their process. They also displayed video footage from drone flights they ran alongside their poster presentation. This team placed fifth and will get to tour EA Sports Facility.

About 250 people visited with the students who began working on their projects last fall.

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