VITAL Summer Camp

VITAL Summer Camp @ BEIL

VITAL Summer Camp 2016, with a theme, <code your dream house> was organized in Summer 2016 at the Moss and Associates Built Environment Informatics Lab in collaboration with Dr. Mario Eraso, STEM Coordinator at School of Computing and Information Sciences. Armando Carrasquillo (undergraduate student at FIU) took the lead in instruction while Felipe Dannebrock (Technologycal Federal University of Paraná), Ariel Oliveira (Federal University of Juiz de Fora) and Ana Luiza (State University of Santa Cruz) assisted in material development.

High school students from AAA program at FIU were invited for the camp which lasted for 2 weeks (3 hours a day). The students were exposed to virtual reality, computer programming and building design during the camp.

They were exposed to a project-based learning environment and their project was to create a building in Unity 3D just by coding. The student had to build the building parts through code and they would only see the building after they run the code.

The camp was 2 weeks long @ 3 hours a day. The students were exposed to (i) computer programming, (ii) building design and blue print reading and (iii) Virtual Reality (through Unity 3D) in the first week of the camp. The students did not have a prior knowledge of any of the these before they joined the camp.

The second week of the class was designed as open sessions where the students could work on their individual projects. The students “self pace”d through the second week and  were free to choose (i) one-to-one instructions, (ii) peer-to-peer learning or (iii) work independently.

Collaborative learning environment with different modes of instruction

Although the students struggled to converge these three recently learned skills into a single project in the beginning, they soon caught up and the difference could be seen in their blue prints, coding skills and visual perception of the model they had in their minds.

Evolution of concept

Sample Student Projects

Below are walk-through of some of sample buildings the students created during the camp.

The students were also scanned in 3D and their life-like avatars were created in virtual reality. A virtual town was created with the models that they developed and their avatars were placed in front of their buildings. A drive-through of the virtual town is below.

The students got college-wide recognition and presented their work and received attention from audience that included the “Girls who code” class, the Director of the School of Construction and the Dean of College of Engineering and Computing.

VITAL Summer Camp students presenting to "Girls Who Code" students
VITAL Summer Camp students with Dr. Ahmad, the Director of the School of Construction
VITAL Summer Camp students with Dr. Jung, the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing