Mod and Sim looks to the future

Sharika Khondaker

More stories from Sharika Khondaker


photo by Annika Yun

Junior Nathan Gilman demos their game, BioBlaster, at the event.

With suspense and a drumroll leading up to the judges announcing the first-place winner, junior Kevin Cosio’s heart raced. After putting in countless hours working on their project, BioBlaster, this would be the moment his team found out if they would win the grand prize of presenting at I/ITSEC and experiencing Universal behind the scenes. Alas, his team won the first-place prize.

“I thought that our project was pretty decent, so it was pretty exciting winning first-place,” Cosio said. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, students in advanced classes of Modeling and Simulation attended the National Center for Simulation Student Day at UCF. Teams of up to six presented projects they had been working on throughout the school year. When school teams head to competition, first place is usually the goal, but when Hagerty’s Mod and Sim teams traveled to NCS Student Day, first place was not enough. The teams ended up earning the top five places at the event. 

After setting up their booths the night before, groups presented their projects, throughout the day, as people filtered in and out, trying out the different projects and voting on them. 

Each team had a different type of project, ranging from animation to virtual reality. The first-place team, comprised of six juniors, created a virtual reality game called BioBlaster. The game has four different levels, starting with shooting bacteria and cholesterol in the bloodstream. Users could even work in a virtual lab to learn how to use equipment. 

“Though we are still in the early stages of development, in the future I do see a possibility of a teacher bringing their students in to play the game to learn the concepts of biology,” Cosio said. 

Teams began working on their project in early August. Each team needed class time and after school time to develop their projects. 

The fifth-place team, Overse, was the only team to build a drone, making it the sole hardware project at the event. Most teams centered their work around virtual reality or entertainment games.

“Instead of making a project based around entertainment, we wanted to focus on education, something that not just the general public could use,” junior Riley Boice said. “We wanted to emphasize that there is no limit to the possibilities of the drone.”

The third-place team, The Supershoes, created an animated video project. It follows a young girl who tries to find the magic shoes that fit her, in a world where people’s shoes give them power. She goes around to different stores, where she feels pressured by the conformity of trying to find the one, until eventually she creates her own unique shoes. The creators wanted to especially use a girl character, aiming to address gender issues in the field. 

“We saw the giant gender disparities in the STEM field,” sophomore Krithika Subramanian said. “The fact in the past three years there has been an increase of six girls in the Modeling and Simulation program combined with the fact that artistic work is not that common really drove us to create this project.”

BioBlaster took first place, TERECA Break-In placed second, The Supershoes placed third, Zeton: a PC Educator placed fourth, and Overse placed fifth. 

The BioBlaster team will have the chance to present at I/ITSEC, the largest Modeling and Simulation event in the world, in December, as well as visiting Universal Orlando backstage in March. The other teams will have the opportunity to tour the EA Orlando Studio for placing.

photo provided by Riley Boice
This is the fully built model of the drone created by team Overse.

The animated video project developed by The Supershoes is shown above.