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Students will showcase cutting edge AR designs

By: Mike Gavin
Published: June 22, 2023

SPINDALE (June 21, 2023) – Eleven talented students will show off eight week’s worth of augmented reality design next week.

Isothermal Community College's Augmented Reality Certification program concludes with an exciting event on June 29 at the Isothermal Communication Foundation Performing Arts and Conference Center.

The free event is open to the public and will begin at 6 p.m.

The centerpiece of the event is the AR design competition for students who completed the inaugural ICC Meta Spark AR Design Class. Participants submitted their AR effects after three weeks of design, and now they will present their creations to a panel of distinguished judges, said Dr. Greg Thomas, Isothermal’s vice president of Academic and Student Affairs.

The panel of judges includes Matthew Longo, senior manager at Jobs for the Future; Tara Tenorio, community development regional manager at Meta; Dr. Margaret Annunziata, ICC’s president; Rebekah Stevens, human resources manager at Cardinal Tissue; Christy Bishop, learning and development superintendent at Befesa; Leniece Lane, owner of Small Town Soul Marketing; Marche Pittman, Polk County manager; David Hunt, Rutherford County commissioner; and Zachary Peak, controls engineer at Buildz.

“These judges will evaluate the AR effects based on criteria such as originality, visual appeal, interactivity, relevance to the chosen theme, and the ability to explain the effect's purpose,” said Thomas. “The top four winners will receive a Meta Quest Pro VR Headset bundle, and all participants will keep the tablets used for their demonstrations.” 

The class, which started in early May, was a partnership with Jobs For The Future and Meta.

Meta Spark is a series of in-depth training modules designed to prepare learners for careers in augmented reality. These virtual instructor-led lessons provide learners with experience creating augmented reality effects with the Meta Spark Studio, the AR design software that enables creators to build customizable AR experiences to reach viewers using Facebook and Instagram.

The six-week curriculum offered three tiers of training, including an initial contextual grounding module for AR design basics, and subsequent modules that go deeper into design principles and practical applications of the software. The training also came with study guide materials and practice tests for the Meta Spark professional certification exam that learners can take at the conclusion of the curriculum.

For more information on the program, contact Thomas at or 828-395-1663.