New innovative lab at Olmsted Academy North gives students access to advanced technology

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 2:10 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 2:17 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Innovation and creativity will ooze out of a lab at Olmsted Academy North. The students will get a whole new experience in learning thanks to Verizon.

Students like 12-year-old Caleb Allen are transforming from consumers to creators in middle school.

“{I’m] working on calibrating it [the robot] so it can detect this red line,” Allen said.

Allen and 13-year-old Ritchie Evans already mapped out careers in software engineering. First steps are taking care of the robotic kinks in school.

“I’m basically just adding a third reality to this [program, “Evans said. “And I do code a man to walk through his temple, come through the other side and say stand guard.”

What happens in the lab doesn’t stay in the lab. That’s the pride and joy for lab coach and mentor Tom Wolken. His students used their augmented and virtual reality tools to create an interactive Black History Project.

“They will actually be walking through the museum themselves{in the virtual reality},” Wolken said. “They’ll hear audio and see pictures.”

The lab is part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Program. It provides free technology, access, and innovative learning tools to underserved schools across the country. Allen said it gave him tools he would have never gotten on his own as he calibrates his robot to follow the red line.

“It’s really just the thrill of the game,” Allen said. “You really don’t know if it’s going to work properly or not until you try it.”

The room gives students access to augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D printing, electrical circuits, and coding.

After the castles and robots, the students say the spark is that they know they can create technology no one else has before.

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