A local youth leadership enrichment organization has teamed up with the city’s own summer jobs program to teach virtual reality (VR) development skills to Baltimore’s young people.
The Be. org partnered with YouthWorks to put 15 students through the former entity’s Be. Virtual program. Be. Virtual teaches game development and programming with a focus on VR technologies. The students are thus learning to code for virtual reality using Unity, with the end goal of them making VR games based on The Be. org’s own educational content.
The organization specializes in social and emotional learning for youth, as well as the teaching of soft and life skills not traditionally included in classroom curricula. The Be. org executive director Tonee Lawson said that Be. Virtual also builds experiential learning into its premise, which can keep them engaged with the products they create. “Experiential learning has a higher content retention rate,” Lawson told Technical.ly about why they chose VR education. “Our students get to be the end users of the content. They learn it, they create it, they get to test it out and [also] use it.”