NARRAGANSETT – Returning students to Narragansett High School (NHS) were greeted with new renovations to the schools’ computer labs, which house the district’s computer science career and technical program. The $75,000 work gave the classrooms a fresh look while also accommodating new technology purchased by the district for the school year.
In addition to new ceiling tiles, paint, carpeting and equipment at the two NHS computer labs, the scope of the work also included a reimagining of the classrooms’ layout to better suit the new technology, with students helping to rearrange the labs, wire the new equipment and set up computers themselves. With the Narragansett School System’s recent integration of virtual reality into its computer science curriculum, along with the program’s dedication to networking, the renovation work will help bring computer science to a new level at NHS.
“In one of the labs, students rearranged the equipment to make it easier to use (their design),” said Lauren Ruggiero, NSS Communications Advisor. “One area for virtual reality and the other for Cisco. This enables students who use the Alienware computers to create VR worlds to have more room to move around while using the Oculus headsets while the other area will be used for Cisco Networking.”
“The school bought the computer program two new networking racks, one being equipped with new, state-of-the-art Cisco switches and routers while the other with older Cisco equipment, which will be replaced before the end of this school year,” Ruggiero continued. “The new equipment will allow us to teach the latest Cisco CCNA curriculum.”
In addition to boosting the virtual reality aspect, specifically, the completed renovations will enhance the school’s Cisco Academy, which educates students in the area of information technology. NHS has recently partnered with Cisco to offer students a chance to earn college credits.
“Having two Cisco equipment racks will allow the student greater time and access to learn hands-on networking,” said Ruggiero. “Working with simulated networking software is a very helpful and fast way to learn the programming. It’s been witnessed that our students take it to the next level when using the real equipment.”
NHS currently has two classrooms dedicated to its career and technical education computer science program–one setup with desktop computers with dual monitoring systems and another dedicated to the Cisco technology and equipment. Both were given a makeover over the summer.