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North High presents ‘Digital Knight’

By Staff | May 2, 2013

Looking at some of the work done by the students at North Fort Myers High School, you would think it had been done by career professionals.

And the best of the best were on display Wednesday at North’s first “Digital Knight” in the student library, a great place to be on a rainy night.

Students displayed their 3D animation, music videos, games, and other digital wonders, with the first-place winners having their work displayed on a 60-inch flat-screen TV for everyone to see.

“More than 800 kids competed, but the teachers selected the winners, and more than 200 are on display here,” said event organizer Jennifer Curls. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Even more amazing were the prizes, thanks to the numerous sponsors who stepped up. The winner got a Kindle Fire, runners-up earned a drawing tablet, and third-place got a digital camera, with all winners getting a Digital Knight T-shirt.

One of the first-place contestants was senior Wray Burgess who created a 3-D animation of a gymnast, inspired by his love of flips that looked fairly real.

“I was excited as could be when I won. I didn’t think I was going to, and I’m real happy,” Burgess said. “It took me seven hours to do this, but for me it took seven days because I don’t like working so long.”

Among the many people who attended the event was principal Jeff Spiro, who marveled at the work of his most creative students.

“This is a culmination of the work of the teachers at North High and the chance to showcase the best and the brightest here,” Spiro said. “What the kids are learning in technology are real-world applications they can use in the work force.”

Among the items that caught Spiro’s eye was the winner in the Web site category from senior Ben Ayers, whose entry lit up the imagination.

“It started as another school project, but I put a little more effort into it, and I thought what better thing to do than a site on animation,” Ayers said. “I spent nine hours one day creating it.”

Other winners included: Samantha Kelly, Best Graphic Design; Lindsay Stramel, Best Red Knight Item; Sarah Waitekus, Best Photo Manipulation; Michael Devernoe, Best 3D Model; Jack Travis, Best Commercial; Cody Wynn & Michael Louden, Best Music Video; and Cristian Dutescu, Best Game.

Among the other highlights of the event were a photo area where friends could get dressed up and have pictures taken, and the Game Guys, where students could play Laser tag, Karaoke and other games.

But the big star was the best work North Fort Myers students had to give, many of which taught the teachers a thing or two.

“You throw out an idea and the kids take it and run. They stretch you as a teacher because they have all these questions and want to get better so the teacher gets better,” said All Coffin, chairman of the business technology department.