Posted Date: 08/16/2021
By: Chase McNutt
Big dreams and aspirations often seem the way they sound—like big dreams and aspirations. For Alexander Worley, a former graduate of Eufaula High School, his dreams have become reality, thanks to the EAST program at Kiamichi Tech. Worley said that his goal is to start a company that can research and develop new technologies to people all around the world with the problems they encounter every day. So, how does the EAST program help him accomplish his goals and get him to where he wants to be?
The EAST program (Education Accelerated by Service & Technology) offers a multitude of different software and systems students can use to help solve community issues. Worley chose to learn a program called Blender, a 3D computer graphics software toolset. With Blender, he learned how to create 3D models and animations. After learning the program, he was approached by his instructor who asked him how he could use this software to help his community.
“At first, I had no idea,” said Worley. “How could a couple models help people? I pondered over this question for weeks when a friend of mine came to me and told me that he wished that some of my creations were real. Of course, I obviously could not create real, physical versions of my creations, so I turned my perspective towards imitating reality via virtual reality (VR). The only problem with that idea, is that we did not have computers capable of running VR equipment like that, but we can definitely build one.”
Along with building a PC from scratch, Worley realized that he needed a piece of software that supported VR development. After researching, he found a game development software called Unreal Engine 4. From there, he started working in the new software and started to receive plenty of project requests. The first project he decided to take on was what he calls the “Wetland Project.” A proposition had been made to build a wetland in Eufaula, Oklahoma. The designers were having trouble expressing their creative visions to the city council, and they decided to turn to Worley for help. After about a year of hard work, the designers were able to use his VR environment to perfect their vision and get it approved for construction by the city council.
The second project Worley took on was a model of a portion of his high school that allowed the Board of Education to see proposed annexes and additions to the school. After this, a teacher approached him about making VR simulation in Nichols Market, a local grocery store, so students with special needs could practice shopping in the simulation before shopping in real life. The last project that Worley took on was three elaborate models of the entire town of Eufaula, Oklahoma, across three different time periods for the local Eufaula Area Museum as part of an endeavor to get students interested in their town’s history.
Worley says that the EAST program has changed his life for the better.
“EAST has without a doubt, directly influenced my future plans,” said Worley. “It has allowed me to combine my two passions of technology and helping others. Now, looking into the future, I hope to continue my journey of helping others via technology. Hopefully one day, with hard work and a little bit of luck, families around the world will no longer have to struggle with the difficult choices my family and I had to.”
Worley is currently at Stanford University on a full academic scholarship, where he is majoring in Computer Science and is a part of the band program.