MNW senior presents winning project

Siepker shares his project, ‘The Mines,’ at ITEC?conference

Jacob Siepker, a senior at Manson Northwest Webster High School, presented his award-winning project at the recent ITEC Conference, the state’s preeminent educational technology conference held every fall. His project, “The Mines,” won a blue and then a purple ribbon as one of the best projects at the regional student technology fair held in Ames in May.

Siepker’s project was entered in the 3D rendering/non-linear animation category and is a game environment of an underground mine with a sci-fi/horror movie feel. He used several modeling programs to create the virtual world, including Maya, Substance Painter, Substance Designer, Bitmap2Material, Photoshop, and Unreal Engine 4.

This is Siepker’s fourth consecutive year winning a purple ribbon, the only student to do so in over 10 years of ITEC’s statewide technology fairs, according to Jeff Sypersma, ITEC executive director.

All of Siepker’s projects have been in the 3D rendering/non-linear animation category. He also presented a session for educators at the conference called “Designing Your Virtual Reality Curriculum.”

Teacher Librarian Christine Sturgeon, director of MNW’s Virtual Reality program and a member of ITEC herself, has served as Siepker’s sponsor each year he’s competed. “Jacob is such a motivated student,” Sturgeon said. “He wanted to learn 3D modeling and he did, working on projects for hundreds of hours outside of school. He also helps other students who are learning the programs and encourages younger students in their own ITEC projects. Jacob has a bright future ahead of him.”

Siepker plans to study animation in college next year. He is the son of Ron and Julie Siepker of Manson.