Virtual Reality Institute


Pioneering New Technologies Through Virtual Reality

Technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, game engines, and motion capture are changing the way we create and enjoy films and gaming. Students will have an introduction to each of these technologies and more. They will have an opportunity to get hands on with advanced industry grade hardware and software to get an overview of how it works, how it is being applied in industry, and what a career path could look like in immersive technology.

At a Glance

Dates: Summer 2021 on-campus dates will be announced on November 1, 2020.

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school and incoming college freshmen

Program Length: 1-week sessions

Program Tuition: $2,500

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus

Residential or Non Residential: Residential

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Virtual Reality Institute participants.

What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered

  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Gaming
  • Motion Capture 
  • Career Pathways in VR

Hands-On Experience:

  • Use advanced industry-grade hardware and software
  • Explore how VR is being used in various industries
  • Learn how VR is disrupting the industry and changing the world
  • Use and experiment with several types of VR devices
  • Tour businesses that have implemented VR technology to improve operation

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.

Virtual Reality Institute Costs:

Reynolda Campus (Overnight Program) | $2,500

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A Day in the Life

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Arrive and breakfast
  • 9:00- 9:30 am- Welcome and program introduction
  • 9:30-10:30 am- Introduction to Augmented Reality
  • 10:30 am- 12:00 pm- Using VR hardware/software
  • 12:00- 1:00 pm- Lunch
  • 1:00- 2:00 pm- Tour of VR lab
  • 2:00- 5:00 pm- How VR is used in Game Design
  • 5:00 – 5:30 pm- Debrief for next day
  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm – Dinner
  • 6:30- 7:30 pm – Evening activities
  • 7:30 – 9:00 pm – Free time
  • 9:00 – 10:00 pm – Prepare for bed
  • 10:00 pm – Lights out

*This “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is based upon the 2018 curriculum and is subject to change. 


Dates for Summer 2021 will be announced on November 1, 2020.

Ryan Schmaltz Academic Leader for VR Institute

Ryan Schmaltz

Academic Leader, Virtual Reality

Ryan Schmaltz is Director of the Media and Emerging Technology Lab (“METL”) at UNC School of the Arts. As the Lab’s founding director, he leads the lab’s overall vision, programs, operations, and external partnerships. METL was founded by the School of Filmmaking and is focused on content and experience creation through emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, motion capture, and others.

METL was established to create economic opportunity for Winston-Salem and North Carolina and to serve as a bridge between industry and academia. It is a hub for thought leadership, innovation, and production. This is realized through industry partnerships, collaboration with start-ups, working in concert with North Carolina’s public and private universities, and through community outreach via the Lab’s planned experience center.

Ryan Schmaltz has been at the forefront of technology since he began his career.  He is a technology executive, speaker, advisor, and entrepreneur. Previously, Ryan was Executive Vice President at Blippar, one of the world’s leading companies for augmented reality and computer vision. Prior to Blippar, Ryan was an early leader at Uber and led cross-functional strategic initiatives for Uber’s executive leadership. He has also held roles at Microsoft, Adobe, and Deloitte. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems and Supply Chain Management from California State University, Chico as well as an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.