High School Game Jam Oak Hill YGD YSU

Congratulations to Oak Hill Collaborative on the $10,000 award from AT&T in support of programming classes for high school students in the area!

Working Together in the Valley

It is great to see Oak Hill, AT&T, and YSU working together to create opportunities for people to move into rewarding careers! For our community to continue to succeed in the 21st Century, our students and our workforce need digital skills like these.

Pat Kerrigan (Oak Hill) and Steve Kristin (AT&T) worked together to come up with an idea to help kids stay excited and see the benefits of staying in school and furthering their education after high school.

Kerrigan brought in Kendra Corpier of the Youngstown Game Developers and came up with the idea to have a video game workshop.

“Kids love video games. A lot of students, even from my generation, went into the technology fields because they wanted to know how video games are made,” said Corpier.

Video Games are More than a Game

Austin Vingle, a student at Youngstown State University and of Oak Hill agrees. “My interest in computers and technology started with video games. I wanted to know how they worked, and how to break them.”

Oak Hill Collaborative and Youngstown State University are working together for this project with the idea to help students get motivated to stay on a course for college. Showing students that STEM education is fun, exciting, and relatable will help with this goal.

“They’ll be able to create their own levels and modify things to whatever they want, and take it home and share it with their friends and family,” Corpier said.

STEM for Video Game Jam

This should allow students, who wouldn’t normally be so excited about furthering their education, see that not only is an education valuable, but it leads to fun projects and a future career in a STEM field.

“Video games aren’t just about making entertainment and fun games. Many schools do medical research, including using game development to help train doctors on how to use specific medical tools. With all the research and development going into VR (virtual reality) and AR (alternate reality), the opportunities are endless,” states Corpier.

Dr. Coskun Bayrak, Professor and Chairperson Computer Science and Information Systems are looking to give Youngstown State University (YSU) a better role in the community. He feels this will show students that YSU is a great option for their education after high school.

With YSU developing their VR (virtual reality) lab on the top floor of Meshel Hall, students have at least one reason to get excited about going to college, here in the valley. The VR lab is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020. Just in time for this year’s seniors to be the first to use it, should they attend YSU for their education path.

Details of High School Game Jam: Oak Hill

Now that the grant check has been received, the members of this project can get started to hash out the details. For now, we know that:

  • 2 sets of 3 days classes
  • 25 students per class
  • Unity Engine by Unity Technologies
  • One class in the fall of 2018 (dates TBD)
  • One class in the spring of 2019 (dates TBD)

As soon as we know more about this exciting opportunity for students in the Youngstown area, we will update.



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