Dozens of Iowa high school students who have an interest in 3-D and virtual reality technology are attending a special event today in Altoona. Rex Kozak is principal at East Marshall High School and director of Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders.

He helped organize the event called the Innovation Showcase, which opening this morning with a keynote address from Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. “Then, we’re going to have a VREP challenge where the kids are given a challenge and they work with kids from other schools and they’ll show their product in the afternoon,” Kozak said.

At the inaugural Innovation Showcase last year, the student projects included concept cars, robotics, and game simulations. More than 350 students from 100 schools are putting their work on display and attending education sessions with business leaders in the fields of science and technology.

“They’re going to get up on stage in front of everybody and showcase their work,” Kozak said. “We’re going to have representatives there from different businesses around the state and they’re going to give those young men and women some feedback and input on the work they’ve been doing,” Kozak said.

The Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders organization was established six years by state education officials along with leaders of a host Iowa based businesses – including Rockwell Collins and John Deere.

Registration was free for educators and students attending today’s Innovation Showcase, which runs through 3 p.m. at the Prairie Meadows Event Center.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City