Students at Upstate school use virtual reality to job shadow - FOX Carolina 21

Students at Upstate school use virtual reality to job shadow

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(FOX Carolina)/May 8, 2017 (FOX Carolina)/May 8, 2017

Job shadowing is going high tech at one Spartanburg County school.  In fact, the freshmen at Boiling Springs High School in District 2 aren't even leaving their classrooms.

Instead, they are wearing virtual reality glasses and using hand controllers to practice jobs like welding, similar to what's being done at Cooper Standard Automotive in Spartanburg.

The students wore the glasses and used special hand controls, so they could get a feel for what happens at Cooper Standard.  Besides the virtual reality glasses, a special computer and software were also needed.

We're told this kind of experience could get students interested in the high-tech manufacturing jobs, and will be critical to filling open positions.   David McBride is the Director at Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology in Florence, and helped to bring this experience to the students today.

"We used some of the products that Cooper Standard has to be able to create VR content that allows students to see what kind of engineering jobs are out there in the future," McBride said.

Dr. Kristi Woodall is the Freshman Principal at Boiling Springs High School and says she's thrilled her students have this opportunity today. 

"It's the awareness of what's available," she said. "Those opportunities and the high-end, high-tech welding jobs, they just aren't aware of that as choices and their families aren't either, so we’re trying to take on more of a role in that way."

Dr. Woodall also says, they'll be working on how much time each student needs to spend with the virtual reality simulator to have a good experience.  They'll work next school year to make sure all the students get a chance to try it out.

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