HACT introduces school children aged between ten and seventeen to innovative technologies and the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The founders of HACT found a common theme or experience, when speaking to established professionals in IT and related fields. The majority cited key moments, in which the encouragement offered by a teacher or relative ignited a lifelong passion and career trajectory. Building on this observation, HACT hopes to achieve the same moments of coalescence and inspiration for Australia’s primary and high school children. HACT segments its events into two categories:
- HACT events for school children aged between ten to thirteen years
- HACT events for high school children aged between ten to seventeen years
HACT’s inaugural event was held on the grounds of Canberra Boys Grammar, over the weekend of April 17th to 19th this year. The event was open to high school children and featured the following streams: web design, game development, 3D art, 3D printing and mobile app design. HACT’s first IN.HACT event, ‘IN.HACT Canberra Winter 2015’ was held over the weekend of July 4th to 5th, in the Canberra campus of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. The main point of difference between the events is the students at IN.HACT spend two-to-three hours in a selection of streams, students in HACT specialise in a single stream. The streams on offer at IN.HACT were game development, 3D art, Virtual Reality and Website development. The event was designed so that the student’s projects completed in each discipline could flow onto the next. For instance, on the first day, students recreated Greek-style architecture in the 3D art segment. The next day, they then got to walk through their creation using Virtual Reality.
The primary school students who attended the recent IN.HACT event were introduced to many amazing and innovative technologies. The most engaging of all was certainly the Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality headset. The mentors instructing the children on the use of the headsets explained the motion or ‘simulator sickness’ which can result from using the headsets. The sickness develops and affects individuals much in the same way car sickness does, and similarly affects some more so than others. The children appeared able to use the headsets without developing motion or ‘simulator sickness’ and took to enveloping simulations of flying with birds, riding rollercoasters and exploring exotic localities.
Tickets for the event were priced at $99 per child and quickly sold out. Each participating student received entry to the event, a HACT t-shirt, a certificate of participation, refreshments, a pizza lunch on the Sunday, the necessary hardware and eligibility for prizes offered. After all tickets to the event sold out, HACT offered a discount of ten percent on tickets to the following weekend’s event.
HACT’s upcoming ‘HACT Canberra Winter 2015’ event will take place over the coming weekend of July 10th to 12th, returning again to the grounds of the Canberra Boys Grammar Snow Centre. Tickets to the event are still available over the HACT website. The last ‘HACT event’ was a roaring success, and even lead to the exciting development of a student business, arising out of the event. An awards ceremony will be held following the event, in which participating students will be recognised for their efforts. Tickets are priced at $149 which will provide students with entry to the three-day event, an event t-shirt, a certificate of participation, refreshments, lunch on the Sunday and eligibility for prizes offered (following the submission of a pitch video).
HACT is currently encouraging interested educators, principals and schools to contact the company about how HACT can benefit their students and how they may be able to contribute to upcoming events. Details are available over the HACT website.