Here is a condensed version of what happened on our trip to Georgia, Enjoy.;...
6 juniors in the user experience pathway were chosen to go to Savannah, Georgia. This was an all-expenses covered trip, all thanks to the CAST Network and SAISD. The trip was chaperoned by Belinda Medellin, CAST UX teacher, and Luis Flores, CAST U.S History teacher. On this trip, we got to tour the Historical City of Savannah, Georgia and visit the liberal arts and design school, SCAD (Savannah school of art and design).
The students who went were Alena Errisuriz-Chavez, Calista Olivares, Johnathan Rodriguez, Israel Gonzales, Jesus Tavares and Kahlil Davis(me). We stayed in Savannah, Georgia four days and this is how it went...
Day 1: Arrival and Savannah Streets
As soon as we got off the plane you could just see and feel that old Savannah charm, the airport was themed to look like an old train station. The old southern charm didn't stop there, as soon as we reached downtown Savannah, you can see all the historical buildings, old architecture and those beautiful trees with the hanging Spanish moss. We got settled in the hotel and soon after we set to Walk the streets of Savannah. While walking down the busy street we noticed there is a lot of small business, however, majority of them are closed on Sunday except a small little arcade and video game store called "Planet fun". Inside Planet Fun, there were old action figures, replicas, old video games, and arcades games. So as any group of young kids would do, we played some games and had fun. We walked around even more and visited some more shops and ate diner at nightfall.
Day 2: SCAD Day
Today is the day we Visit SCAD, everyone woke up bright and early that day and the sun was shining bright. We walked all the way from our hotel to the SCAD welcome center.
As soon as we walk in we are greeted with wonderful smiling faces and amazing interior design. When you walk in it felt as though I was transported directly to Hogwarts. Every wall, hung a portrait painted by students, dark-colored walls and giant wood chandeliers. Pass the initial entrance, to the right, you see this beautifully designed green and yellow presentation room. Here we got to speak directly to a current student and watch a short presentation about SCAD.
SCAD is one of few colleges in the country that offer User Experience as a degree, which is why we were so interested in visiting. SCAD is much like CAST Tech in that it is industry-based, Project-based and student-oriented. Each student at SCAD, no matter the major, is responsible for turning what they learned into something more real-world, like an art piece, app, website or product. SCAD students then have the opportunity to test or sell their idea in the local community. If their idea proves to be a success or they show great potential companies such as Google, Amazon, IBM, Sony, etc might recruit them, even better their idea could turn into a profitable business. In fact, SCAD has a whole program dedicated to fostering your ideas and work ethic called SCADPro
SCAD is organized by a quarter system of 10-week.s, and there are 4 quarters in a year. SCAD also has 4 campus locations throughout the world, Savannah and Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France. If you want you can spend an entire quarter in one of these locations.
Unlike many colleges SCAD doesn't have a solid campus, instead, everything is spread out and group by majors and classes. So to go to each building we had to take a shuttle bus to each location. Each location is completely different in design and in the subject. First, we visited Eckburg hall home of the fashion majors, here students can create their own fashion collection and showcase it at a lavish fashion show visited by celebrities and designers. Secondly, we visited the shed home to everything related to design including User Experience, Industrial Design, Product Design, etc. This facility has 3d printers welding and woodworking shops, computer labs and 2-way mirror labs for user testing. Thirdly, we visited the Montgomery hall, school of interactive design game development and animation. This is my favorite building because you can play free videogames, from multiple consoles and devices. The facility includes 700 computers and laptops, rendering farms( for very large file processing), motion capture rooms and videogame testing areas.
Lastly, we visited The Hive or nicknamed by Jesus "SCAD city". The Hive is based on California movie studio lots and is the resident halls for SCAD students. The Hive, features restaurants, gyms, club meeting locations, transportation lines, and a garden.
After our tour was done, we set our sights to this beautiful park right across the street. It was called Forsyth park and in the center of the park was this giant fountain dyed green for Saint Patrick's day.
we took lots of pictures here as you see below.
Savannah ghost tours
later that afternoon we visited the Savannah ghost tours. This tour will give us a little history and tell us spooky stories about the 300-year-old city. Savvanah was and still is a port city, which made it valuable for pirates, war and trade. It was so valuable, it was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American revolution.
Due to its long and rich history, Savvanah was voted the most haunted city in America. During the 1800s it lost 80% of its population to yellow fever, hospitals were full so many people died in their houses. Slaves were also affected, however, their graves layered on top of one another, now a park stands where they were buried.
Graveyards overtook the city soo much that the city just decided to build over them, now houses, roads, and parks are built over them. Due to this and many other creepy stories, there are a lot of ghost sitings. Creepiness didn't stop there, even in the late 1950s, a murder scandal involving voodoo happened within the city.
Recording and photography were limited during the ghost tour.
Day 3: Journey to Tybee island
On Day 3 we left savannah to visit Tybee island 15 minutes away from savannah. On this day we visited one of the oldest lighthouses in the south and took a trip to the beach.
After we left the beach we visited Tybee island famous crab shack. Here they had live alligators you can feed and they served mostly grab related food.
Student free time:
After we Left Tybee island and headed back to the city, Ms. Medellin and Mr.flores agreed we were very responsible and let us have free time to roam the city. We had the whole city to our selves, so as any young group of kids would we had a photoshoot.
Take a look at some of our photos
Day 4: Bonaventure and Bon Voyage
Our last day in savannah we visited one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, Bonaventure cemetery. This graveyard is filled with giant and detailed gravestones dating from the early 1800s until now. The detailed gravestones, with the hanging trees coupled with the bright pink flowers, is a sight to behold.
After we left the cemetery, it was time to leave savannah, Georgia. We hopped in the car and headed for the airport.
This was Heavily summarized version of our trip, so I recommend talking to either Ms. Meddellin or Mr. Flores or even the students that went to get the full story.
Savannah was a really beautiful city and if I could, I would definitely go back, even with the same people I traveled with.
The Scad pack