This year, we asked our Apprentices, Sam and Kara, to produce a piece of creative content aligned to the field of work they were most interested in at the Corsham Institute. The purpose of this project was to allow our apprentices the chance to develop skills which would help them move into their desired career paths that they wouldn’t necessarily get to develop as part of their everyday jobs. It was also a chance for them to develop their communication, project management and time management skills. The team around them supported them and provided guidance, but it was down to them to be the driving force behind their chosen projects.
Kara took interest in our Virtual and Augmented Reality Environment and wanted to explore how technology could be used as an interactive tool for education. Sam was interested in our Children & Young People programme and wanted to explore different online cultures and their effects on young people. Below they write about their experiences and what they learned from them.
Kara’s Independent Project
After seeing the Virtual and Augmented Reality Environment at Corsham Institute, I was interested in how this technology could be used as not just a means for entertainment but also for education. I wanted to create something that could be used to test player’s knowledge in an engaging way. Creating this would also allow me to learn the fundamental skills behind creating game content such as using game engines and basic coding.
I began by researching education games, looking into methods of learning and looking at the mechanics of game design. I also researched the industry standard game engine and coding languages. Through this I decided to learn with the game design software, Unity, and code using C#. From here I completed several Unity tutorials to get to grips with the Unity game engine and C# coding. This allowed me to build up the basic knowledge and terminology I would need to complete my project. I began to design a simple question and answer game so that I could ensure I learnt the fundamentals of game creation. As I began to create the game, I realised that writing the code to allow interaction was going to be a lot more challenging than I initially thought. I spent a lot of time reading through forums and troubleshooting areas of coding as this was a whole new language to learn and get to grips with. In the end, this proved very effective as I began to recognise the errors I was making and work out how to fix my mistakes.
I managed to create two basics game levels, one with colour matching and one revolving around answering a question. Through this project I’ve learnt a great deal around game design, mechanics and the work that goes on behind the scenes of a game. These skills are all going to be very helpful for me in my new job as a Junior Interactive Media Technician, where I will be working with code, game design and with virtual and augmented reality. On a personal level, I enjoyed the challenge of learning the basics of game creation and seeing these things replicated in much more complex ways in the games I play myself.
Below is a screen recording of Kara’s game, which she designed with the potential to be converted to VR.
Sam’s Independent Project
For my independent project, I produced a documentary called ‘The Influence of Influencers’, an insightful look into the world of YouTubers and their content. I wanted to do a documentary on the subject of YouTubers because, as a consumer of YouTube content, it’s something that really interests me. I also thought it relates well to the Corsham Institute Children and Young People programme, which aims to understand the risks and benefits of digital technology for young people and support them in managing those risks and embracing the benefits. YouTube is currently one of the most popular video platforms used by young people and I see my documentary as something that will, hopefully, provide a bit of insight to both parents and educators about YouTube as a platform and some of the positive and negative aspects of it.
To produce this documentary, I firstly wrote a script, which included some context and recent news about the platform, which allowed me to visualise what route the documentary was going to take. I then arranged and recorded interviews with two YouTubers, Elena and Jake, each of whom have very different styles. After which, I gathered clips from a wide variety of sources, to support the narrative of the project, and recorded the narration. The editing side of the documentary was the most time consuming, but also the most rewarding.
Prior to commencing the documentary, I fully immersed myself and researched extensively to become an expert in the subject, which allowed me to be confident when interviewing Elena and Jake, but also when writing the script, it helped me to choose what key points to include. I have learnt a variety of different skills from doing the independent project. I have developed my video editing skills further, having no experience or knowledge of how documentaries are made. Also, I have learnt how to voice-over for video, a skill which I was keen to know, and find very interesting. It has also helped me improve my interviewing technique too, an attribute that I am very lucky to have learnt.
Overall, this project has been very useful, and I have found the documentary creation process really interesting. I have enjoyed producing ‘The Influence of Influencers’, and I hope those who watch it will learn something new and become aware of just how important online influencers are for young people.
Below is Sam’s short documentary, ‘The Influence of Influencers’.