A collaborative effort in Ventura County
On September 27, 2016, a 23 month journey came to fruition with the ribbon-cutting of the TECH Center (TECH – Test and Evaluation Collaboration Hub). The TECH Center is one of just three such classrooms in the country and is the first in California. It was established the result of a collaborative effort involving the Oxnard Union High School District, the Ventura County Civic Alliance, Ventura County Office of Education, and the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.
The purpose of the TECH Center is to ignite interest by students in STEM related education through an immersive learning state-of-the-art environment. Additionally the Center will benefit future workforce requirements through local Universities and Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division through the Educational Partnership Agreement for test and evaluation based curriculum and events.
The TECH Center is a set of technologies to create a new immersive learning environment for STEM students of every age by embedding learning objectives in an entertaining narrative and enhancing the story with virtual world game play and simulation technology. The Center currently focuses on T&E scenarios and aviation but it is envisioned that the center will evolve over time to other areas (e.g. hypersonics, autonomy, cyber, robotics). The TECH Center is designed for use in middle and high schools to inspire students in STEM subjects through engaging, real world play; and provide teachers with tools to enhance student critical thinking in the application of science and math in relevant, “ripped from the headlines” stories.
From OUHSD, the first students to benefit from this TECH Center will be the Oxnard High School Aviation Academy – where 9th and 10th grade Academy students will travel weekly to the Career Education Center to access the TECH Center classroom with their teacher, David Sveiven, and VCOE instructor, Diallo Wallace.
This TECH Center came out of numerous months of collaboration and planning with the following partners: Rich Burr, Tom Dowd and Cameron Bruce, and Gil Torres (all from Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division), Mary Anne Rooney – Project Director with the Ventura County Civic Alliance and Business Intermediary for the OUHSD, Jim Rose (former OUHSD Director of Career Education), John Fitzgibbon, CEO of TEQ Games, Jim Buscemi, CEO of GBL Systems, Oxnard College, CSUCI, and VCOE.
As these pictures convey, the collaborative work of all involved brought a vision to reality and OUHSD is excited to see the great student connections and experiences as a result.