HAVELOCK, NC (WNCT) – In today’s digital age, video games and cell phone apps often get a bad rap as time-sucking tools of procrastination. In Havelock one teacher is using the methods behind the madness when it comes to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Mark Smith tells WNCT, “many people think, even some students think that game art design is about playing games and in fact that’s not what it’s about.” He explains that his students are learning the techniques of scientific visualization, or 3D modeling, and using industry standard software used at companies like Pixar and Disney
Smith’s career started in the U.S. Navy on weapons systems and says it was an excellent education that laid the foundation for what he’s doing now as a teacher. “The ideas that you can be creative, come up with something and actually see it manipulated and make it work, it’s always fascinated me, and I try to get that spark, that interest in my students,” he said.
By the end of their course, students know how to design 3d environments that are used in training in the military, the medical field and in public safety. The students even compile a game portfolio with not only 3D game projects, but board games too.
Smith says the school offers certifications at the end of these classes where they take a certification and get industry certification, if you have these skills and you’re in college, you can go to a graphic design business and say do you have any work I can do for you and instead of working at McDonald’s, you can be making some decent money to help support your education.
With his STEM Teacher of the Month award, Mr. Smith will use his money to help develop Havelock’s afterschool 3D printing club. Students will learn to make things like cell phone cases with their school logo to sell as fundraisers for their school.