Rye Neck High School students collaborating on advanced technology projects have a lot in common.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Rye Neck High School students collaborating on advanced technology projects have a lot in common. They’re all self-starters who were involved in innovative projects since middle school and are currently enrolled in the high school’s Independent Learner elective. They’re all on the same wavelength and speak the same techie jargon. For all these Rye Neck techies, cyberspace seems to have no limits.
“These students are part of a collaborative generation who are highly imaginative. With their technical expertise, they are developing businesses that cross any age boundaries,” said Enrichment Coordinator Valerie Feit, who heads up the Independent Learner Program. “It’s important for them to have an open space at school, which is free from the boundaries of curriculum and where there are opportunities for unbridled, creative freedom.”
Philip Micalizzi is only in ninth grade, but his video game website, www.narconpvp.com, has already garnered over 40,000 hits. He also created a server for “Minecraft,” an award-winning video game of survival published by Mojang. His server offers a multiple player function, so that participants can play together and form factions to compete against one another. He’s hired assistants to help him update features and manage players from different parts of the country. His server generates revenue by offering players the opportunity to buy more gaming abilities and resources in order to excel at the game.
Shawn Primrose and Ryan O’Day, both sophomores, are involved in software development. The pair has developed a web browser that is faster than Google Chrome, the multinational Internet corporation’s power browser. Their software, BioNetworks, offers a notepad application that allows users to work on multiple tasks on the screen at once. Another project they’re working on, BNHosting, offers unlimited hard drive space and bandwidth if their clients sign up for the “ultimate” package.
Freshmen Christian Axisa, Ed Gibbs, and Matt Aber have created their own video game, “The Attack on Lord Burgenstein’s Castle.” Axisa remarked, “Our game is reminiscent of Pac-Man and Galaxian, which had to be a lot of fun and offer incredibly strange characters in order to bring players to arcades.”
Gibbs created sophisticated, intricate artwork for the game with over 400 characters. In addition to the programming, Aber composed the music. The trio conducted beta testing and was met with favorable results. “Kids loved it,” confirmed Feit. “They didn’t want to stop playing.”
Next up for the freshmen is their own animated on-line show about an alien who lands in Nebraska. It sounds like something these Rye Neck students might just be able to conjure up.