Career and Technical Education (CTE) of St. Johns County

A unique trip for Nease Communications, Engineering Academy students

In September, Nease’s Communications Academy Digital Design students and Engineering Academy students had the opportunity to tour Sally Corporation, a 40,000 square foot facility dedicated to designing, creating, and engineering characters and environments for theme park ride.  The local company was started 35 years ago and serves clients all over the world.  The tour started with an interactive game experience which highlighted the type of theme park ride environment the company creates.  Then, on to the design office, where graphic designers create the theme park ride environments and characters.  Students were told that the Sally Corp designers ideally have 2 or 4 year art degrees, and we got to see samples of what the artists are currently working on.  Then, to the sculpting room where characters are molded; and finally to the production floor, where the Stellar Academy students had the chance to see the engineering that goes into the creation of the animatronic characters.  On the production floor engineers, carpenters, set designers, and costume designers all work together to create their characters, which can be as small as an animatronic bird or as large as a full-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex head. Overall, it was a fantastic experience which showed how Engineering and Graphic Design can come together to create magic.