North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2012

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The cluster also can be a powerful tool for capturing the imagination of younger learners preparing for the job market. Enhanced instruction in science, technology, engineering and math — the "STEM" subjects — could be easily energized with digital-game and simula- tion tools, says Dalton, who chairs the state's Joining Our Businesses and Schools commission. In fact, such tools already are being deployed in some of North Carolina's Early College High School Initiative schools. Dalton describes STEM a different way: "It's really Strate- gies That Engage the Mind." North Carolina's community-college system will play an integral role in the state's adoption of digital games and simulations. The program pioneered at Wake Tech, for example, can be replicated at any of the system's 58 campuses as demand arises. "Our community-college system is so pervasive that as a college like Wake Tech acquires this sort of industry-specifi c expertise, you'll see other campuses adopting it pretty rapidly," Dalton says. Five other community colleges have launched basic and game-development courses in response to demand from students and employers. Dalton says he is impressed by the way the schools are collaborating with the state's research universities to provide technical and workforce support to the industry. N.C. State University in Raleigh produces talented graduates through its bachelor's degree in computer science, which offers a concentration in game development. The university's Digital Games Research Center is a unique resource, pooling academic expertise from the computer-science, engineering, education and design departments to create multidisciplinary solutions that address industry chal- lenges. Across campus, N.C. State's Gains Through Gaming Lab is researching the NC Community Colleges www.nccommunitycolleges.edu $QGUHZ .XGODN &HQWUDO &DUROLQD &RPPXQLW\ &ROOHJH $ $ 6 0HFKDQLFDO (QJLQHHULQJ 7HFKQRORJ\ 1& &RPPXQLW\ &ROOHJHV OHDG WKH ZD\ LQ HGXFDWLQJ DQG WUDLQLQJ WKH ZRUNIRUFH QHHGHG LQ WRGD\·V JOREDOO\ FRPSHWLWLYH HFRQRP\

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