CASE STUDY: Cecil Andrews College

Cecil Andrew College is a school with low Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) ranking, meaning it serves some of Perth's most disadvantaged students. Despite this, the school is flourishing and has been a finalist in the Governor’s STEM awards for two years running.

The school is lead by a dedicated team with boundless enthusiasm and a focus on STEM and student agency. STEM coordinator and national teacher award winner, John Townley, saw Vortals as a natural fit for the school and immediately implemented it with his yr 9 digital technologies class.

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John Townley

The First Project

The first project was a 6 week cross curricular project with Humanities and Social Science. A mixed reality presentation on the Great barrier reef. The students used their HASS time to research relevant content, and their digital technologies time to build out a 2D, VR and AR presentation. Students had to plan, design, and consider the unique challenges of when and where to implement the VR and AR experiences.

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In the end the students chose to use Vortals’ terrain map feature and animation capabilities to take the user on a guided tour over the barrier reef.

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The Next Challenge

Once the first project was completed and students were familiar with Vortals, John upped the ante and tasked the students with an interschool project.

 

The year 9s had to consult with year 5s from Neerigin Brook Primary School, explain to them what augmented reality was, and then collaborate to build a walking tour of the year 5’s garden biome project. This was a project steeped in design thinking principles and processes.

 

The year 9’s had to consider their end users, and design and iterate on the project layout. Students had to think about user experience in a digital system and in a new digital reality, they had to create and collect an array of different digital content, from images, 2D video, and text, and then consider how they would deliver the final product. The students created an astounding walking tour.

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Current Projects

Cecil Andrew’s College are now well versed with augmented and virtual reality and keep finding new and creative ways to use Vortals to enhance projects. They are employing Vortals and the Introduction to Game Design course for year 10, but also maintain their project based approach too, having integrated augmented reality into an innovative solar bench project.  

Says the principal Stella Jinman “Vortals has been a highly effective STEM program that has been utilised across a range of learning areas and embraced by the students. The students have been very motivated and learned to quickly navigate with the tools, use critical thinking and creativity to experiment.