Nathan Porter teaches Physics and Computer Science at Maple Hill High School in Schodack

Since 2014, Questar III’s Summer STEM Research Institute has placed local secondary school STEM teachers in local businesses, colleges/universities and research facilities to get hands-on experience in areas related to the courses they teach – providing their students a more authentic education and better preparing them for the world they will encounter after graduation.

For the first time this year, we’ve partnered with Troy-based video game developer Vicarious Visions to host six teachers who are working with their team on video games currently in development and gain a better understanding of all the disciplines needed to bring a game from conception to release.

Nathan Porter teaches Physics and Computer Science at Maple Hill High School in Schodack and he is part of our first cohort of teachers working with Vicarious Visions.

Briefly describe your research to someone without a STEM background.

I am working as an extern at Vicarious Visions a Game Development company. I am shadowing and participating in meetings to learn about how the Game Industry works and learning how to design and develop video games. The idea is to create a course with a multidisciplinary approach centered around Video Game Design.

What made you want to apply for the Summer STEM program?

This being my second time in the program, I was excited about the Vicarious Visions connection because previously I worked in a research field. While in the program the first time I found myself very interested in the business side of the STEM program. With the game industry centered around two of my interests (physics and computer science) I couldn’t pass the opportunity.

How do you see this program impacting your instruction and benefiting your students?

I foresee myself applying many of the collaboration and teamwork aspects of the Game Industry directly to my classroom. We will also be designing a Game Design course.

What are you most looking forward to through the program, or what has been the most beneficial experience for you so far?

So far, it has been extremely beneficial to see the wide array of skills that students need to have to function effectively in the Game Development industry. I am seeing and being involved directly will benefit me and my students directly because of the knowledge that I can bring back.


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