Gaming magnet program coming to Miami-Dade
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MIAMI SPRINGS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Students at one South Florida school are getting rewarded for playing video games at school.
Miami Springs Senior High School is combining its math and technology programs to create the iTech Academy. "We were trying to come up with a way that we can bring those programs together to produce something new, fresh, exciting, that's never been seen before, and that's how the idea of iTech came about," said Miami Springs Senior High principal Anna L. Rodriguez.
The academy, which will be Miami-Dade County's first video-themed magnet program, will debut in the fall. "Technology is the best direction to head in," said student David Barahona, "and gaming and coding and programming and designing, it's all into that world."
An 8,000-square-foot facility will be built to house the iTech Academy, complete with computers, wireless Internet, and even 3-D glasses to provide an interactive space for students. Miami Springs Senior High digital design teacher Rene Barge said, "I just want to see the students get their hands-on technology, learn to solve complex problems that will lead to some real-world solutions in terms of thoughtful interaction design."
Miami Springs High students are already learning how to design and program video games, but the new facility will take their studies to a new technological level. "They're doing real high-level thinking because they have to figure out how to make the stuff move around, where in regular class, they could just fill out multiple-choice questions, they don't get that involvement," said Sam Koski, a math and computer teacher at Miami Springs.
Although the magnet program is the first of its kind, the concepts of simulation and animation courses are not: Miami Northwestern Senior High School already offers gaming-related classes. "Part of the games I create are educational, so when you go to play, you got questions, so you keep yourself educated with the game," said Miami Northwestern student Wally Carias.
Kathleen Lyden, the business I.T. teacher at Miami Northwestern said, "These kids are creating, they're writing code and they're learning these skills that are untapped. The future is just wide open for them."
The iTech Academy is open to 125 students. Those interested in the program must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and must submit the online application by June 15. To access the application click the above link.
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