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UCM Lee’s Summit’s Mixed Reality Studio provides opportunities for innovation; virtual launch held Nov. 20 exterior-view-of-mixed-reallity-studio

A new Mixed Reality Studio, located at the University of Central Missouri’s (UCM) Lee’s Summit campus, made its debut to the community during a Nov. 20 Virtual Sneak Peek. The approximately 60-minute preview is available at this link.

During the launch event, co-hosted by Velocity Lee’s Summit, presenters talked about the equipment available at the new studio, shared examples of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) potential projects and discussed the future of this growing technology. Presenters included Joe Mullins of UCM, Jeff Danley of VMLY&R and Ashley Smithson of Velocity.

“The Lee’s Summit studio is one of the most advanced mixed reality labs I’ve ever seen,” said Danley. “The opportunity to innovate with these technologies is tremendous for students and entrepreneurs in our area.”

“The Mixed Reality Studio aims to advance state-of-the-art technology in VR and AR by developing new applications and educating the next generation of researchers, developers, entrepreneurs and technologists while collaborating with industry,” Mullins said.

At this flexible space, students, instructors and industry innovators will be able to explore cutting-edge immersive technologies as they create, develop and deploy new applications, products and services.

The facility is equipped with various software and design platforms, multiple headset configurations, workstations, filming and graphic resources. Equipment available includes Dell workstations, HTC Vive VR headsets, Oculus Quest headsets, Microsoft HoloLens2, Magic Leap 2 glasses, HTC Vive Trackers and Lightform LF2 with New HP Reverb GT to be installed soon.

The Mixed Reality Studio was made possible by MoExcels funding, a Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) initiative to facilitate development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs to substantially increase educational attainment. 

For more information about the Gigabit Lab and Mixed Reality Studio, contact Joe Mullins of UCM at jmullins@ucmo.edu or (816) 441-2861. For information about partnering with Velocity Lee’s Summit to access the Mixed Reality Studio, contact Ashley Smithson, info@velocity.org. Anyone interested in visiting the Mixed Reality Studio for a one-one-one or small-group socially distanced tour may contact Mullins.

(Published Nov. 23, 2020)


UCM Lee’s Summit offers Virtual Sneak Peek of new Mixed Reality Studio at Nov. 20 event 
Launch will provide preview of studio’s virtual reality and augmented reality technology capabilitiesgraphic-image-about-event

The University of Central Missouri will launch its new Mixed Reality Studio at a Virtual Sneak Peek from 10 to 11 a.m. Nov. 20. The studio is part of UCM’s Gigabit Lab and is located at the university’s Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit.

The Virtual Sneak Peek is among a number of special events planned throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The preview, co-hosted by Lee’s Summit Velocity, will be offered at this link.    

The Mixed Reality Studio aims to advance state-of-the-art technology in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) by developing new applications and educating the next generation of researchers, developers, entrepreneurs and technologists while collaborating with industry.

The Lee’s Summit studio provides access to leading edge devices, educational programs and industry through leadership that will educate and inspire the next generation of innovation in the areas of augmented reality and virtual reality.  Access to the studio will help students, faculty and industry innovators to create, develop and deploy new applications, products and services.

The Mixed Reality Studio was made possible by MoExcels funding, a Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) initiative to facilitate development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs to substantially increase educational attainment. 

For more information about the Gigabit Lab and Mixed Reality Studio, contact Joe Mullins of UCM at jmullins@ucmo.edu or (816) 441-2861. You can also read more about the studio by selecting this link.

(Published Nov. 12, 2020)


UCM Lee’s Summit and Urban TEC to host Technology, College and Career Virtual Event Dec. 4Slide-with-details-about-event

The University of Central Missouri (UCM) Gigabit Lab is joining forces with Urban TEC to host the Technology, College and Career Virtual Event from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Additional sponsors include CISCO, Truman Medical Center University Health and Microsoft. 

The event is designed to expose, educate and engage students from 15-18, with technology to bridge the digital literacy divide and to encourage their pursuit of STEAM - science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics - careers through hands-on experiences and workshops.

Middle and high school students from throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area are invited to attend for a  unique experience. The deadline for registration is Nov. 27, and participants may sign up at urbantec.org.

 The UCM Gigabit Lab is designed for growth-oriented companies and innovators and helps them develop products designed primarily in the education, cyber and healthcare vertical. The focus is on education, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, workforce and healthcare applications that can be deployed to students and teachers in K-12 grades and UCM degree and certificate programs.

For more information, visit urbantec.org or contact Ina P. Montgomery, M.Ed., founder and executive director of Urban TEC, at kcbitgathering@gmail.com or (816) 533-5693.

(Published Nov. 11, 2020)


Announcing the opening of Mixed Reality Studio at Missouri Innovation Campus

The University of Central Missouri is launching the Mixed Reality Studio, part of its Gigabit Lab, during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November. The studio aims to advance state-of-the-art technology in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) by developing new applications and educating the next generation of researchers, developers, entrepreneurs and technologists while collaborating with industry.three-people-with-VR-headsets

The Mixed Reality Studio provides access to leading edge devices, educational programs and industry through leadership that will educate and inspire the next generation of innovation in the areas of augmented reality and virtual reality.  Access to the studio will help students, faculty and industry innovators to create, develop and deploy mixed reality experiences. The studio is located at our Lee’s Summit campus, housed within the Missouri Innovation Campus.

According to Joe Mullins, UCM Center for Workforce and Professional Education, the new studio will help participants from a variety of fields to explore this technology, take advantage of experiential learning and research opportunities and develop new applications, products and services.

The Mixed Reality Studio was made possible by MoExcels funding, a Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) initiative to facilitate development and expansion of employer-driven education and training programs to substantially increase educational attainment. 

For more information about the Gigabit Lab and Mixed Reality Studio, contact Joe Mullins of UCM at jmullins@ucmo.edu or (816) 441-2861. You can also read more about the studio by selecting this link.


UCM starts development of future partnership with South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc in education and workforce development

Thanks to a virtual project involving Lee’s Summit area students working with students and officials from Kenya, an international partnership is launching this fall. The partnership under development includes UCM, the South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB), Makueni Innovation Centre, Eastern Kenya Integrated College and Digloso Ltd.kenya-governor-at-MIC

During a recent video conference, representatives from UCM, SEKEB, Makueni County Government (who run the Innovation Centre), Digoloso Ltd., Eastern Kenya Integrated College and Summit Technology Academy participated in presentations and discussions regarding the potential partnership’s next steps. 

“This unique collaborative effort will allow UCM Extended Studies to work with the university’s Kenyan peers on education and workforce program development,” said Joe Mullins, UCM Workforce and Professional Education and the chief development person for the partnership. 

Through the project, partners will leverage technology to foster global collaboration in resolving local challenges. The partners will work together to develop real-world sustainable solutions for students and adults. Students will also gain hands-on experiences in areas such as Internet of Things, virtual reality, telehealth and entrepreneurship -- just to name a few -- while working on industry-recognized certifications and accelerated degree programs.

In the photo, Governor Kivutha Kibwana of Kenya tours the Missouri Innovation Campus during fall 2019. Read an expanded article on this topic by selecting this link.


UCM, Summit Technology Academy discuss new Aerospace Academy partnership with Lee’s Summit City Council 
Program to begin fall 2021 to provide career pathway for students interested in aviation-related fields

Lee’s Summit City Council members heard an update on the Missouri Innovation Campus Aerospace Academy, a partnership involving the University of Central Missouri (UCM) and Summit Technology Academy. During an Aug. 18 meeting, council members heard from Bob Hartnett of Lee’s Summit Public Works, Dr. Jeremy Bonnesen of Summit Technology Academy, Joe Mullins of UCM, Mike Adamson of Aircraft Electronics Association and Dr. David Buck, Lee’s Summit R-7 superintendent.two-men-at-MIC

The collaboration has made significant progress since the formation of the Aerospace Academy Advisory Board during August 2019. The group of industry experts and regional stakeholders includes representatives from the Aircraft Electronics Association and ULTRAX Aerospace -- both headquartered in Lee’s Summit, Duncan Aviation and Garmin as well as officials from the City of Lee’s Summit and the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council. Bonnesen and Mullins are leading the project for UCM and Summit Technology Academy.

During the city meeting, Aerospace Academy officials discussed the need for a program leading to jobs in this high-wage, high-demand field. Following the presentation, Mayor Bill Baird and several council members expressed their support for the new program.

Beginning in fall 2021, students will enter the program as high-school juniors with a focus on aviation-related fields such as avionics, aerospace engineering, aviation maintenance, unmanned/drone pilot, professional pilot and military aviation. The program is designed for both high-school and college students with a goal of enhancing the talent pipeline for a qualified workforce.

The Aerospace Academy is unique within the Midwest, said Mullins during the City Council meeting. “Our next steps are to continue to meet with our Advisory Board, to finalize the curriculum with industry and faculty input and ensure that the program is relevant to students,” he said. 

The program has involved both the City of Lee’s Summit as well as Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council since its formation. The Aerospace Academy will operate out of the Missouri Innovation Campus, which houses UCM’s Lee’s Summit campus and Summit Technology Academy.

The University of Central Missouri is one of just a few universities with an aviation program as well as its own airport, located at the Warrensburg campus. The City of Lee’s Summit also operates a municipal airport.

For more information about the new program, contact Bonnesen, jeremy.bonnesen@lsr7.net, or Mullins, jmullins@ucmo.edu. Mullins (at left) and Bonnesen are pictured above.

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