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Williston Central students’ 3D model wins with audience

Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter
Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter

On Friday, March 25, two high schools and a middle school took top honors in the 2nd annual ‘3D Vermont’ modeling competition, but three additional schools won the year’s first People’s Choice award. Among those winners was a 10-member team from Williston Central School, as well as a Champlain Valley Union High School team. The WCS team came from Voyager House, and were randomly selected among the dozens of students that wanted to be on the 3D modeling team, according to teacher Aron Merrill. “There were so many kids who wanted to do it, we had to do a lottery. Almost the entire house, fifty kids, wanted to participate,” he said.

Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter
Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter

Students spent the past two months researching historic buildings, taking measurements, and learning through after-school workshops how to create true-to-scale models of the buildings using a program called Sketchup.

Merrill, who worked with librarian Ellen Arapakos to helm the team, said he was amazed at how the students took an intimidating topic and really owned it.

Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter
Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter

“One part of our work was to gather the details about the buildings, like taking measurements and pictures and finding it on Google maps, and figuring out how to do the 3D…. The other part was to do the research on the buildings themselves. And their making connections to the community.”

Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter
Observer courtesy photos by Eric Hunter

“It’s a really good way to get kids interested in history…introducing it in this technology-oriented way,” he said. For more on the contest, visit http://3dvermont.org