PERRY COUNTY, Ky (WYMT) - Since education began, sitting in a classroom at a desk was the norm. But not anymore.
On Thursday, Perry County Public Schools launched Kentucky's first Virtual Reality Academy at Perry Central High School. This academy will prepare students for opportunities in the digital economy.
"This is the outgrowth of a shared belief that coal country kids don't just deserve the same opportunities that other kids around the country have they deserve the best opportunity," said Adam Edelen, Vice-Chairman of LOBAKI Incorporated, a leading national Virtual Reality firm.
Edelen believes since the mountain community was hit hard by the decline of the coal industry that schools in Eastern Kentucky must take the lead in finding innovative approaches to providing opportunities.
"This is about exposing the best kids on the planet to first-class opportunity," said Edelen.
Perry County Public Schools Superintendent Jonathan Jett said in his time as superintendent they have always pushed to be an innovative district. And this academy is the start.
"To have the first ever virtual reality academy here in Perry County is really cool, and it's a great opportunity for our students."This is a certification that they could work while they're in college and try to off-set some of that debt that usually piles up," said Jett.
Creating opportunities for students to be employable from home or anywhere in the world.
Student ambassadors Kayce Campbell and Brady Adams say this is an experience that will not result in snoozing in class.
"I think it opens up doors for a ton of opportunities to do hands-on stuff that we really couldn't get to do anywhere else," said Adams, a Junior at Perry Central High School.
"And students will look forward to coming to school more just because they have something to look forward to rather than just sitting in a classroom all day," said Campbell, a Sophmore at Perry Central High School.
The class will offer a series of four courses. Once completed students receive a LOBAKI virtual reality certification.
This academy will be the first in Kentucky but one of only 20 across the country.