By Nathan Prewett, For the Tribune
LEEDS – Sometime in the future some of the visionaries and technicians in video games, the music industry and film could come from the city of Leeds after Full Sail University paid a visit to the high school on Friday, March 10.
The event was organized by Jessica Kennedy, who teaches business and computer science at Leeds High School.
Kennedy said that she received an email about the program and then looked into it before finding out that the university sends the bus to campuses at no cost to them. It is promotional for Full Sail but offers students a glimpse of their potential career paths.
The “Full Sail Experience” is a program where a bus is driven out to a school to give students an insight into some of the majors that the university offers.
The bus is a Kenworth T2000 truck with a featherweight trailer and measures 85 feet by 20 feet. There are five interactive workstations inside exhibiting art, animation and design; game design and esports; as well as video production, VR and audio engineering.
“We’ve had a couple of students that said that they were interested in audio, music engineering,” Kennedy said. “So they were really drawn to that one station and kind of inquired about this school but maybe what was also offered in Alabama in terms of audio engineering, music engineering, video production. Several kids were super interested in that as a possible career in the future.”
On Friday Kennedy led her students into the bus where Full Sail staff members Ari Paris and Pat Stewart gave a presentation and then helped the students as they sampled the different demos. Several donned a VR headset and got to experience a type of gaming that is gaining steam in the industry.
Full Sail is located in Winter Park, Florida and has graduated students who went on to get involved with game design and visual effects for movies and so on. Young viewers may be familiar with games such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, which has designers who studied at Full Sail.
Others have gone on to work with television, including MTV and ESPN. They’ve also been involved in films like Zootopia and other Disney and Pixar-related movies, as well as in the pop music scene with Cardi B and Rhiannon.
This was the first time that Full Sail has come to the campus at Leeds High School but it will not be the last. Kennedy said that she sees this being a yearly occurrence. She said that she wanted to offer something new to the students and get them thinking about what possibly to go for in the future.
“I think realizing that there’s other careers out there that they didn’t even know about, that there’s other avenues,” said Kennedy on how the program will impact the students. “That’s there’s types of jobs, types of careers that they never even thought about before.”
Nathan Prewett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.