Putting into practice an effective S.T.E.A.M. program is a challenge at any level, but Valdosta State University was able to master it by creating a high−technology interface using Kramer Electronics products. S.T.E.A.M., which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, is the core discipline subject group for today’s technology−driven education and workforce readiness.
Valdosta State University, located in Valdosta, Georgia, is the second regional university in the University System of Georgia, serving over 10,000 students in the colleges of arts, arts and sciences, business administration, and education and nursing. For its S.T.E.A.M. program, the school created a totally wireless BYOD interface to the presentation system that included the Kramer VIA Connect PRO and the Kramer Electronics K−Touch Cloud−based control solution.
Randy Scott, southeast regional director of Sales and Development at Inter Technologies, the local audio/video systems integrator, said the Kramer VIA product line lent itself very well to the application. “The S.T.E.A.M. Center is used by K−12 guests to spur their interest in STEAM−oriented careers, and the VIA Connect PRO along with the K−Touch control solution makes it extremely simple for these students to use,” Scott said.
The system consists of eight VIA Connect PRO units, six K−Touch control solutions and a Kramer VSM−4x4HFS split room seamless matrix switcher. The VIA Connect PRO is a wireless collaboration and presentation solution that can be used with any laptop or mobile device for viewing, editing and commenting on documents in real time. It makes sharing files and editing easy. The VIA Connect PRO offers high quality video streaming, supporting full HD 1080p/60, and up to four participant screens can be displayed on the main screen. The K−Touch is a Cloud−based platform for control of automation systems including lights, screens, video, sound, HVAC and more. It is compatible with any iOS or Android touch device.
The system is unified by the Kramer VSM−4x4HFS, a seamless matrix switcher that allows switching between inputs with a clean video cut. The VSM−4x4HFS supports HDMI resolutions with deep color, up to eight channels of audio and includes per−port HDCP and EDID settings.
According to Sterlin Sanders, assistant director of Technology Services at Valdosta University, the Kramer system allows participants in S.T.E.A.M.− related programming to bring any form of technology to use during classes. “We provide programming to the external education community, and we were looking for a solution that would allow instructors and students to use their own tablet, laptop or mobile device to collaborate on various assignments,” Sanders said. “Our technician, Adrian Taylor, played a key role in getting the Kramer units up and running, and the system has been a big success at events like Science Saturday, when students in grades K−12 visited for a math education day.”
Scott said the system has garnered glowing reviews from Valdosta University. “Kramer has positioned its solution very well in the BYOD wireless user interface arena,” he said.
VSU offers a total of 50 undergraduate majors, 23 masters’ degrees, nine educational specialist degrees and doctorates in education.