Mid-Pacific is a school with a rich history of innovation. In a world of evolving technology, Mid-Pacific faculty embrace an evolving platform, to prepare students for the future. With an immersive suite of technology programs that utilizes state-of-the-art equipment, innovation on the Mid-Pacific campus is scanned digitally, printed in 3-D and experienced in virtual reality. The Mid-Pacific classroom is an environment where learning is fun and engaging, and where students are challenged to question, inquire and imagine.
Through the use of immersive technology, Mid-Pacific offers students opportunities to address real-world challenges in meaningful ways. On September 13, 2016, 8th graders in Leilani Sills’ Advanced Design Thinking course traveled to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Hawai‘i Island, to capture 360-degree video as part of a partnership with Catalog.Earth, a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting the world’s vanishing landscapes with 360-degree video available for free public use.
Mid-Pacific is the organization’s first and only educational partner, and is a pioneer in offering the opportunity for middle school students to learn skills like 360-degree video capture.
“Catalog.Earth has said that, in working with a number of universities and professionals in the field, only graduate-level students do this kind of work,” says Mid-Pacific Middle School Principal Dwayne Priester. “We heard the voices of our students who asked us to give them these kinds of opportunities. We intend to rise to that challenge, and to give our students every other opportunity that we can. Everyday they amaze me with the kind of work they are doing.”
The 8th grade students caught the attention of Catalog.Earth representatives after they saw 360-degree video that had been taken and stitched together by the Mid-Pacific students after trips to Makapu‘u, on the island of O‘ahu. The videos were posted online by Sills.
Joined by Priester and School Technology Specialist Tony Johansen, Sills and her students captured five different areas of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, including the Hōlei Sea Arch, Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs, Pauahi Crater, Sulphur and Steam Vents, and lava fields using two highly sophisticated GoPro Omni Rigs—six cameras mounted together. The rigs were donated by GoPro and the trip was made possible by a generous donation from a Mid-Pacific alum.
The goal of this project is to record images of Hawai‘i Island’s volcano and to help build a public platform that will allow anyone to access 360 degree footage of the rapidly changing landscape of Hawai‘i. This information will be free and available under the Creative Commons license. The Mid-Pacific 8th grade Advanced Design Thinking students will stitch together the 360-degree volcano video and will publish the footage upon completion in the Fall of 2016.