One Day Not Enough For High School Technology Festival

Virtual reality innovators John Carmack and Palmer Luckey will speak to Highland Park High School students at a new keynote event leading up to the school’s annual science and technology festival.

Carmack co-founded game developer id Software in 1991 and served as chief technology officer of Facebook’s VR subsidiary Oculus. Luckey, one of the founders of Oculus, also founded Anduril Industries, a defense technology company.

“It helps (students) understand what’s out there and what they can study.” -Amy Shawver

Ticket availability for the keynote session from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at 6911 Lemmon Ave. is limited. Contact for more information.

Festival co-chair Amy Shawver said the festival plans to create a video library featuring the keynote event and other speakers.

The festival, scheduled during science classes Feb. 7, traditionally features more than 50 speakers from careers including science, engineering, medicine, research,and technology.

John Carmack
Palmer Luckey

Last year, 2,500 students registered for the event, which featured 53 speakers, and Oculus donated 10 Oculus Go devices for a raffle.

“It helps (students) understand what’s out there and what they can study,” Shawver said.

This year’s festival will feature about 52 speakers in fields including geology, VR, artificial intelligence, law, medicine, chemistry, engineering, film, epidemiology, physics, robotic surgery, video games, cybersecurity, social media data, blockchain, aviation, computer science, genetics, wildlife management, sports nutrition, veterinary science, energy conservation, and more.

Parent volunteers help run the event and secure the speakers. Between 30 and 50 volunteers work the day of the festival, and Shawver said student ambassadors would likely help as well.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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