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Apache Junction students can seek career in


video-game coding
Dec 22nd, 2017 · by Richard H Dyer · Comments: 0

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Zackary Raymond, 18, a senior at Apache Junction High School, and Amanda Kimball, 18, a senior at McClintock High
School, prepare to complete coursework on a laptop computer at an East Valley Institute of Technology class in computer
programming, coding and mobile app design. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia)

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Elizabeth Barber, a technology and coding instructor for East Valley Institute of Technology, on Nov. 29, had students put
notes on the board to answer the question “What do you know about the Internet?” (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent
Newsmedia)

East Valley Institute of Technology courses from construction to welding,


culinary arts

A senior at Apache Junction High School hopes an East Valley Institute of Technology
class he is taking will start him in a career of programming or coding for video games.

“I’m really interested in designing video games when I grow up and so I thought this
would be an easier thing to learn and progress through. I’m working on HTML right
now, which is like a website or animation within that,” Zackary Raymond, 18, said of
the information technology and engineering careers class in computer programming,
coding and mobile app design. “I kind of like the design of it, like the aspect of making
a character move with certain designs or something like that is cool.”

He plans to go to Central Arizona College after graduation from AJHS.

EVIT is tuition-free for high school students and offers about 40 career and technical
education programs tuition-free for high school students who reside in 10 east Valley
districts – Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale,
Higley, Fountain Hills and J.O. Combs. Students spend a half-day at EVIT and a half-
day at their high school. School districts provide transportation to EVIT for most
students. For more information about EVIT, visit www.evit.com.

Mr. Raymond takes a bus from AJHS, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive, to the EVIT main
campus, 1601 W. Main St. in Mesa, and back after class.
He is in the first-year class. Other students are in the second-year class.

“They’re sometimes working on the same thing as well,” he said.

“The second-years can definitely assist the first-years with prior knowledge,” his
teacher, Elizabeth Barber, an EVIT iTEC technology and coding instructor, said. She
has a master of arts in organizational learning and instructional technology and has
worked at EVIT since July.

“I’m a full believer in the ‘best way to learn is to teach,’ so having students – the ones
who are a little bit higher level – to assist with other students that might be a lower
level or new students who are coming up. It’s also differentiated learning so I have
students who started later on in the semester,” she said.
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12/22/2017 Apache Junction students can seek career in video-game coding - Apache Junction Independent | Apache Junction Independent

A course description at evit.com says the computer programming, coding and mobile
app design class prepares students interested in pursuing a career in computer
programming, coding or mobile application design. Students are challenged to develop
computer programs in multiple formats for use in the robotics industry, computer
information systems and mobile application design. They will also learn the skills
necessary to communicate clearly, cooperate within teams, solve logistical problems
and present findings. The program also introduces students to embedded technology
concepts through a combination of classroom lecture and project-based learning.
Students will also learn to design computer and mobile application programs using
multiple platforms of the C++ language, including, EasyC, RobotC, ObjectiveC, X-
Code, Swift and Java Script, according to the website.

“My goal is to level them up like a video game. So, start them out with basics,
foundation. Also giving them the understanding of information technology, so they
have a good foundation on that. Then also getting them into different forms of
technology – programming. Some students are interested in more of the software-
development side, not necessarily game design. I have a lot of students who are
interested in that. So depending on their learning wants and needs, is going to dictate
their learning path,” Ms. Barber said.

Students will be taught about Python coding for the “Minecraft” video game, she said.

Those who complete the second year of coursework can be certified.

“For the second-years, they should be certified … hopefully Java Script or Oracle,” Ms.
Barber said. “There’s other classes. Some kids want to go into the hardware side of it,
so that’s across the hall, which is a Cicsco kind of thing. We also have 3D art and
graphic design so some kids might want to go into that component as well. I have kids
who are doing 3D art with some of the other teachers that are interested in coming over
here to learn first-reality, augmented-reality.”

Any student interested in programs at EVIT may submit an application for


consideration, according to the EVIT registration guide at
http://www.evit.com/sendingschools. EVIT’s Counseling & Admissions Department is
at the Dr. A. Keith Crandell (Main) Campus, 1601 W. Main St. in Mesa. Office hours are
7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday during the school year with summer hours 7
a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday. It is recommended that students and parents
requiring specialized advisement call ahead at 480-461-4000, according to the guide.

EVIT classes are also held at other locations convenient for Apache Junction High
School students:

EVIT East, 6625 S. Power Road in east Mesa, opened in August 2011. The 10-acre
campus is adjacent to ASU Polytechnic and houses EVIT’s aviation and future
engineers programs, the east campus academy for cosmetic arts and several

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12/22/2017 Apache Junction students can seek career in video-game coding - Apache Junction Independent | Apache Junction Independent

school of health sciences programs, including the veterinary assistant program.


Entrance to the East Campus is at Power Road and Verona, according to
http://www.evit.com/about/campuses.

Apache Junction Branch Campus at Apache Junction High School with EVIT
programs in human anatomy and physiology for medical careers, medical
assistant, construction, culinary arts, welding and introduction to iTEC.

On Nov. 29 Mr. Raymond and Amanda Kimball, 18, a senior from McClintock High
School in Tempe, were paired up to complete an assignment on his laptop computer.
More than 35 other students in the class also worked in pairs on the assignment.

Ms. Kimball attended the Early Career Academy tech school until it shut down, she
said.

“With that knowledge I was able to go into second-year here,” she said. “I really want to
get into database design. That’s what I want to do. But I also want to go into app
development, so I’m here for the app development.”

She recalls being interested in computer science since she was much younger.

“It’s always been my passion since I was 10 years old. When I got my first computer
was what got me into computers,” she said.

“Skyrim,” an open world action role-playing video game, is one of the games that
inspired her to go into app development.

“I would go into the database or the fundamental codes of the game and would change
them around to see what would happen,” she said.

When she graduates from high school she would like to attend University of Advancing
Technology.

Mr. Raymond enjoys playing “Overwatch,” a team-based multiplayer online game.

“It’s a cooperative game. You have to work together as a team to do an objective or


something like that – defeat the other team, capture a point or something like that,” he
said.

Students in the class have a common bond, he said.

“I like how everybody is kind of in the same boat, everyone’s like the same person –
they all like to do video games, they’re all designing and the coding is the same thing.
It’s kind of simple but you’ve got to learn through it,” Mr. Raymond said.

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From left are EVIT students Noah Carlow, 18, and Hayden Stangler, 18, seniors from Mesquite High School, at an East Valley
Institute of Technology class in computer programming, coding and mobile app design. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer,
Independent Newsmedia)

Noah Carlow, 18, a senior from Mesquite High School, wants to become a software
engineer, he said at the EVIT class.

“This kind of like helps you get the first steps into doing that,” he said of the coding
class.

He took EVIT’s iTEC class last year.

“They taught you about computer repair and networking, so it wasn’t focused on
programming; now it is,” Mr. Carlow said.

Hayden Stangler, 18, a senior from Mesquite High School, said he is taking the coding
class “to start my foundation for my career being a software engineer or a
programmer.”

He took the iTEC class last year and is working toward a certificate, he said.

“That’s my main focus right now; I want to get certified so that I have a piece of paper
that says I know this stuff, because that’s what jobs look for,” Mr. Stangler said.

Post your opinions at apachejunctionindependent.com. Managing Editor Richard


Dyer can be contacted at 480-982-7799, via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or on
Twitter at RHDyer.

***

Sidebar:
EVIT at AJUSD
•77 Apache Junction Unified School District students attend the EVIT main and east
campus.
•Apache Junction High School’s EVIT campus has six content areas – graphic design,
culinary, welding, construction, medical assist, and anatomy and physiology, totaling
444 students, Also, 11 J.O. Combs students are enrolled in the welding program.
•Three AJUSD students take EVIT classes at both AJHS and the other two campuses.
•29 AJHS students attend the Main EVIT campus.
•48 AJHS students attend the East Campus

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12/22/2017 Apache Junction students can seek career in video-game coding - Apache Junction Independent | Apache Junction Independent

•10 students take classes at AJHS that do not attend there. Two are from American
Leadership Ironwood and eight are from Combs High School.

Source: AJUSD

EVIT funding
As a joint technological education district, EVIT receives funding through local, state,
county and federal monies. The funding formula is similar to that used by traditional
school districts. Funding is based on student enrollment and the costs are shared
between the state and local funds. A JTED may levy a rate of 5 cents per $100 of
secondary net assessed property valuation to generate the local contribution. Any
amount needed to fund the required formula above the amount generated through the
local tax is funded through state funds, according to the EVIT website, www.evit.com.
EVIT has a 0.0500 secondary property tax rate in Maricopa County, according to
https://www.maricopa.gov, and a 0.0500 secondary property tax rate in Pinal County,
according to http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov.

Want to enroll in EVIT?


You have several options:
•Online at www.evit.com/admissions.
•At your Apache Junction High School counselor’s office.
•By visiting the high school or adult education admissions offices at the EVIT Main
Campus, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa.

Need more information?


Website: www.evit.com/requestinfo.

Managing Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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