This summer, Clarke University Summer Scholarly Projects hosted a weeklong bootcamp for high school students interested in Computer Science and related fields.
With guidance from Assistant Professor of Computer Science Joshua Moris, 10 students worked together to develop a virtual reality game. They used the tool Unity Game Engine to create controls and tested several storylines and prototypes before choosing their game theme. Then, students were able to explore all aspects of game development, like programming and coding, art and asset creation, and game play testing. One of the key elements of this process is trial and error, a concept that was both challenging and motivating for the students.
“Every day, there seemed to be a code issue or an interaction that didn’t make sense, and that is part of the learning process. I think students were surprised that answers were not immediately available, but through trial and error we found solutions to our issues,” Joshua said. “After the first day, paths opened for each student. Some aligned more towards programming and others wanted to focus on playtesting and quality assurance, and it was amazing to see each come into their own.”
Of the 10 participants, two students were returners from last year’s CUSSP. Another two students from the previous cohort returned for the final day to assist with testing and celebrate the completed game. Clarke intends to grow its special summer programs into the future, and much of that is thanks to how the faculty and community have embraced these academic opportunities.
Students growing their skills and showing excitement to pursue more programming projects always is dear to my heart. I absolutely love when the final project comes together. Originally we limited the project to six participants, but when we had 10 applicants, we couldn’t deny that calling. CUSSP is an integral part of Clarke’s outreach to our community.