Next Level VR works to expose Pulaski County youth to STEM
PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – In Pulaski County, there is a new program that is taking STEM education to the next level. They combine it with virtual reality and other technologies.
A teenager like Tyler Arnold is in high school and spent a lot of time in Higher level VR.
âIt’s just that it’s a good mix, like being able to have fun and do something that can be good for your career at the same time,â said Tyler Arnold.
It’s a virtual reality arcade in downtown Pulaski, but they’re also working hard to do more for the kids in the community.
In the arcade, students can play more than video games, they have the chance to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math.
Next Level wanted to give back and expose children to different tech careers from an early age by partnering with 4-H and starting a STEM program.
âThis is the kind of stuff that turns me on and I’m you know I’m an older person — so you know what it really turns on your youngsters because it’s something they can apply this they learn at school, “said Dirk Compton a representative of the Pulaski County Supervisory Board.
Compton joined Laura Walters and other community leaders have helped this program grow.
âCompared to a place like Blacksburg, Pulaski County is way below the percentage of people entering STEM, so we want to try to reach out to the community and make a difference, because otherwise we will. will be, we will be left behind. “said Dylan Armes, Managing Director of Next Level VR.
It all started about a year ago, when Steve Critchfield and a group of city leaders began revamping parts of downtown Pulaski, including the Next Level VR building.
âWe basically contributed to that by creating a place where kids can have fun, but also with our STEM program, giving them life lessons, like teamwork, the ability to program and do stuff. robotic engineering like that – because that’s where it seems like careers are really moving towards, âWeapons said.
âIt broadens their horizons and shows them new ways not only to have fun and learn new skills, but also a career path they could take when traveling,â said Cynthia Hurst. 4-H Coordinator for Virginia’s Cooperative Extension in Pulaski County.
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