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Unity Based Top-Down Shooter Game: Design and Development

By Gillian Yue, VI Form

Unity based Top-Down Shooter Game: Design and Development

I’ve always been interested in video games since I was a child. To me, playing games was never just entertainment; it was also a special artistic experience. While art can be presented in many forms, visually, auditorily or written down, video games are often a combination of different forms, as they need to contain graphics, sounds, and storylines.

This summer, through the Class of ’68 Grant, I worked on an independent game project for the iOS platform, a simple space-shooter-style game with a small variation: instead of simply shooting “bullets”, the player first collects the bullets by tapping on the randomly code-generated paintballs. I chose to work on this project because I’ve always enjoyed playing Space-Shooting games, and I wondered if I had the ability to create something similar. The bulk of the programming was facilitated by the game engine Unity3d, whereas the graphics and audio used in the game were created respectively in Photoshop and Garageband. So far, I’ve had the time to complete the basic structure and logic of the game, with a few characters, background and soundtracks, and I plan to add more artistic components as my project progresses. (more…)

Moral Obligation…in Hamlet & a Fetus

By Lulu Eastman, V Form

Moral Obligation…in Hamlet & a Fetus

Hamlet, a Shakespeare play, follows the tragic tale concerning a deeply troubled Danish prince of the same name. Hamlet is forced to confront his traitorous mother and uncle in order to avenge his murdered father, who, as a ghost, has requested Hamlet takes his uncle’s life in order to bring him justice. However, Hamlet is distressed by the thought of committing such a bloody deed. As he wavers through indecision regarding his proposed mission, he also struggles against the drowning weight of his depression, as the toxic environment of the palace causes him to lose faith in the goodness of people. In the novel, Nutshell, by Ian McEwan, the story of the fetus is based off of Hamlet. With the reflective fetus entangled in the plotting of his traitorous mother and uncle, he finds himself in a predicament similar to that of the Danish prince. Although he has yet to even experience life for his own, the fetus has already lost hope for the vitality and decency of humanity. Every moment of his being is spent listening to conversations that only reveal more and more of the villainous and duplicitous ways of his mother and uncle, Trudy and Claude. Both Hamlet and the fetus reach a point where they contemplate committing suicide, as it seems to be the only way to put an end to their pain. However, both decide to live instead. Though both Hamlet and the fetus have cynical views of the world, and both consider suicide, they continue living through their suffering because they have moral obligations, beliefs, and fears that bind them to life. (more…)

Optimism About the Power of the Book

By John Warren, Head of School

Optimism About the Power of the Book

Immediately after learning of our impending grandparenthood, our conversations with daughter-in-law and son, Caitlin and Ethan, turned to books—their recollections of favorite childhood books that had been read to them and that they had read to themselves, and our recollections of favorite books that we had read to Ethan and to our daughter, Amanda. From Ethan and Amanda’s infancy right up through much of elementary school, my wife and I had a nightly ritual of reading to them, and memories of those times are among our happiest. We have been pleased to learn that these memories are among Ethan and Amanda’s happiest, too. (more…)

1-Take Video on Cyanide: The Mystery of the Seven Deaths

By Lindsey Dumond and Sada Nichols-Worley, V Form

1-Take Video on Cyanide: The Mystery of the Seven Deaths (click here)

Editor’s Note: After completing a deep examination of the process of Cellular Respiration, Advanced Biology students were randomly assigned to small groups (2-3) students and tasked with tackling a case study. The case of “The Mystery of the Seven Deaths” examined the true story of cyanide poisoning that occurred in the early 1980s. This case study required students to analyze data, make conclusions, and explain mechanisms of action. The students were then required to present the case to a lay person in 3 minutes through a 1-Take Video. A 1-Take Video is exactly what the name implies: a video shot in 1-take. This entire assignment was completed in an 80-minute block.

Click on the image below for the video!

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(more…)

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

By Kate Sotir, VI Form

Competing in the FIRST Robotics Challenge

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Working in the basement level of the STEM building, using lots of power tools, and occasionally throwing out words like “kickoff,” “drivetrain,” or “STEAMworks,” we are FIRST team 3566, also known as Gone Fishin’.

Gone Fishin’ competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The robotics competition, open to any high school student, was created in order to promote the STEM fields and offer a competitive yet collaborative atmosphere for robotics. In the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), teams are given a challenge, in the form of a game, and then have six weeks to build a 120 pound, $10,000 robot to meet this challenge. After those six weeks are up, teams compete in various regional events. The ultimate goal is to go to the world championship, held in St. Louis, where around 800 teams gather to play the game. (more…)

Want to Be More Creative? Get Immersed in Nature!

By Hans Zhou, V Form

Today’s children only spend around 20 minutes outside per day. The number of visits in both national parks and nature-based recreation has steadily declined since the 1980s. Social media and technology are taking away opportunities to go out and explore nature. The modernized life we are living now is much better than the one our ancestors had in terms of medical care and living standards, but are we missing out on the benefits and beauty nature might hold for us?  A study by Strayer and University of Kansas psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and Paul Atchley has shown that immersion in natural settings could improve creativity. The study involved 56 people: 30 men and 26 women at an average age of 28. These subjects were divided into eight different groups to participate in hiking trips without any technology from four to six days (more…)