Outreach: Bright Minds

Outreach: Bright Minds

On Monday 11/27/17, the Bright Minds Foundation together with HCPSS held a conference to announce the addition of new Oculus VR equipment funded by a generous donation from Brendan Iribe, Oculus co-founder and HCPSS alumnus. Bright Minds Board of Directors co-chairs Clarissa Evans and Lisa Olivieri introduced HCPSS Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano who welcomed an audience of 100 to the event. County Executive Allan Kittleman also made remarks about the importance of keeping pace with technology changes, and described his interesting interaction with the equipment in a demo just before the conference began.

Mr Iribe was on hand to talk about his experiences at HCPSS that led to him to this career, attributing his path choices to former soccer coach, Reginald Hahne, and to discuss his vision of technology in the future. Mr. Iribe likened our current time to the very beginning of the computer era, and made predictions about the future of virtual and augmented reality.

After his keynote address, Mr. Iribe moderated a panel of experts to discuss the responses that education needs to make to prepare current students for this future. The participating panelists named below provided very thoughtful insights and perspectives about the integration of technology into all aspects of education.

•Lynne (Barbara) Clark, Chief of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, NSA/DHS
•Dr. Marie Des Jardins, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Engineering and Information Technology, UMBC
•Ryan Frederic, Applied Defense Solutions, President, Member of Bright Minds Board
•Ron Gula, President, Gula Tech Adventures
•Tina LeBaron, Animation Teacher, ARL, HCPSS
•Drew Zitnay, Retired, LogMeIn

The conference ended with a call to action to the audience to become involved in any way that works for them, from joining HCPSS advisory groups to mentoring students. Bright Minds also noted the opportunities available to support HCPSS by joining the board, volunteering on committees or making financial donations.

Attendees at the event also were able to play games using the VR headsets in the Visual Arts Academies and to preview the VR Architectural Academy programs.
Special thanks go out the program committee members who worked with us:
Natalie Belcher, HCPSS, Instructional Facilitator
Clarissa Evans, HCPSS Retired, Bright Minds Foundation Co-Chair
Ryan Frederic, Applied Defense Solutions, President
Reginald Hahne, HCPSS, Retired
Sharon Kramer, HCPSS, Coordinator CTE
Tracy Turner, HCEDA, Howard Tech Council Executive Director

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