Cincinnati, OH – December 30, 2011 – On January 6 & 7, 2011, students from ten local high schools will convene at the University of Cincinnati Tangeman Center with laptops in hand. For two days, these students will engage in hands-on learning, immersed in the design and development of virtual reality environments at the first Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders (VREP) Institute. VREP is a national scale initiative designed to bring together high school students in unique learning environments to spark career possibilities using virtual reality, 3D technology. In this unique environment, the trained student "Guides" provide the two-day training to the participating students or "Pathfinders." "Today's global and technological economy calls for innovative approaches to learning," comments HCESC Superintendent Dave Distel. "VREP affords all students the opportunity to hear that call, schools to respond to it, and educational service agencies to support it. HCESC is proud to be a part of this transformational education initiative so that students can learn more, do more and be more. "Essential to the program becoming an effective college and career pathway is how student "Pathfinders" work side-by-side with business and industry experts while engaging in project-based learning. The Cincinnati VREP Institute's local corporate partners are International TechneGroup Incorporated (ITI) and Turner Construction, both of which will be present at the Institute with demos of applications used by their companies.