Skip to main content

Virtual reality showcase event casts a spotlight on STEM

Virtual reality showcase event casts a spotlight on STEM
Published 29 November 2023
Northern Adelaide students have unveiled their futuristic sci-fi virtual reality adventures, as part of the CnVRg (Converge) project, during a showcase event held at the Northern Sound System in Elizabeth on Tuesday 28 November 2023.

CnVRg is a collaboration between BAE Systems Australia and the City of Playford’s Northern Sound System which has partnered with local schools to harness the power and creativity of game development to provide an engaging learning environment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for young people.

For almost 18 months, students from Elizabeth Downs Primary School and Playford International College have immersed themselves in the realms of asset creation, 3D modelling, animation and storytelling as part of their curriculum.

They have been crafting imaginative creatures such as break-dancing aliens and mermaid-like hybrids, as well as virtual worlds that take you on adventures underwater and into space.

City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said the CnVRg project connected young people to STEM career opportunities which align to one of our city’s largest industries – defence.

“It has been rewarding to watch this project unfold and to have the Northern Sound System, our city’s prominent youth and creative hub, as a central base, where all the students’ ideas grew and their new skills developed,” said the Mayor.

“The advantage of this project is that it exposes our young people to the new jobs emerging in the programming, gaming and virtual reality industries.”

The project has seen students engage with industry professionals, learning the true feat of the opportunities in Adelaide. They have been inspired by their visits to BAE Systems Australia’s shipyard at Osborne and the motion capture experience at Flinders University’s The Void, while understanding further learning opportunities at CDW Studios in Adelaide.

BAE Systems Australia‘s Chief People Officer, Angela Wiggins said CnVRg offers an innovative approach to help young people understand the merits of keeping up with STEM subjects throughout their education by applying a creative lens relevant to their interests.

“Our engineers and technologists use their creativity every day to solve problems and design new products. CnVRg is a unique STEM outreach program that builds the bridge between creativity, design and engineering,” Ms Wiggins said.

“We are committed to creating connections with our local communities and promoting STEM career opportunities. With CnVRg, students can delve into emerging technologies that augment their regular school curriculum,” she said.

Up to 100 Playford young people will participate in the program over its two-year term, which is due to finish in mid-2024. The City of Playford looks forward to continuing the project with Elizabeth Downs Primary School and local other schools in the new year.

The project has been funded by BAE Systems Australia.