High School Student Gains Real World Experience with Virtual Reality

Mortenson collaborates with the community in many ways, but specific outreach to students is important for furthering the education and fostering the knowledge of the AEC industry. Sam Perry, a student at Big Picture High School in Bellevue, Washington, has spent the later part of the last school year working with Mortenson’s Virtual Reality team in Seattle, Will Adams and Marc Kinsman, and Design Phase Manger, Garret Parsons, assisting the implementation of an augmented reality program. Part of Big Picture’s curriculum is to spend one day per week for the entire school year in a real-world, internship-like experience.

Sam said he spent many hours watching tutorials and videos out of interest for the design and process of virtual reality. After spending time seeking a way to spend his Thursday's, Will and Marc fostered the idea of working on a real world project for Sam to put his interest into. Sam worked on the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering project implementing and improving the newest phone app. The app is to help UW students understand the life of construction on their campus, when and how it will affect them. Most importantly, the app gives students a glimpse of the new facility they will benefit from when construction is complete.

“Sam’s experience was valuable for everyone involved," said Marc. "He was able to take an interest, mold it into a skill and put it to use working on the UW CSE project. We’re proud of him and the hard work he put forth this year.”

Sam presented his work to classmates this week and received high regards from instructors on the work he did.


Sam Perry presenting on the augmented reality app used with UW Paul G. Allen CSE project.