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Rhodes Academy Combines Creative Arts Education, Web3 and St Pete Catalyst

Based in Tampa, Aaron DeBerry works to deliver Web3’s first creative arts education platform, combining an affinity for academia and entrepreneurship.

Web3 is the latest version of the World Wide Web, incorporating blockchain security, token-based economics, and decentralization. Rhodes Academy Creative Arts Tampa (RCAT) President and CEO DeBerry recently announced that he is working with Polygon Studios to build a private school platform on the blockchain protocol.

Polygon Studios is a major supporter of the Web3, NFT, Crypto Games and Metaverse building communities. Creating the platform for Rhodes Academy through Polygon will enable Deberry to bring innovative concepts and decentralization to the world of creative arts education. It will also offer students the opportunity to get rewarded for their work.

“There aren’t many models where students can earn while they learn,” says DeBerry. “This is certainly one of the greatest advantages we have of him.”

DeBerry said the Rhodes Academy will offer six weeks of courses in visual arts, photography and music production. At the end of each term, students submit their projects.

In addition to being part of student portfolios, the project can also be published on the RACAT marketplace as an NFT for consumer consumption, DeBerry said. Students retain ownership of their creations and can earn money through sales on the platform.He also plans to introduce his program of tokens to schools.

According to DeBerry, crypto tokens could encourage high student performance. For example, we explained that RACAT can give native tokens to the top 3% of each class.

“So there are many ways for students to earn while studying at Rhodes Academy,” he added.

Debery said he founded the school for students like himself. Photo courtesy.

RACAT will initially serve students in grades 6 through 12 and will also offer adult secondary education, DeBerry said. He is currently working on the platform and plans to have a soft launch in late October or early November. He said the school would “certainly” be fully operational by the start of the new year in January 2023.

DeBerry believes that decentralized education puts power back in the hands of students and teachers.

“I really think it’s time for educators and students to have more say in how curricula are created, first and foremost,” says DeBerry. “The second reason is to create a new reward model for educators, because with RhodesAcademy, the content he creates is 100% the educator’s.”

DeBarry said using NFTs also gives teachers and students the autonomy to bring their work to other platforms besides RACAT. He added that using blockchain technology allows for creative freedom.

DeBerry noted that some blockchain-based schools focus on cryptocurrency education, but said Rhodes Academy would be the first to combine creative arts studies with Web3 technology. .

DeBerry hopes to continue the relationship with Polygon. Polygon says he only does business with his Web3 company, which is the most cutting-edge in the world. He said the platform receives thousands of applications every day to build on the blockchain, but selects only “the most innovative and technology-driven projects.”

Originally founded in 2015 as a private, non-profit school, Rhodes Academy “has morphed and morphed many times” in an attempt to find the perfect model for the school, says DeBerry. After embarking on an after-school program, a charter school and a private school, DeBerry said he lost the building in January.

“I was introduced to the Web3 space after we lost the building. It was the right move at the right time,” he said. “I have been working on his Web3 space since January and it has paid off.”

DeBerry says he hopes to have a physical space in the “very near future” where students can participate in live labs and collaborate with local artists and musicians. He said he recently spoke with a Tampa-based co-working development focused on the blockchain and NFT industry.

Growing up, Debery said, he was in middle school and often found classes boring. After college, he became an educator after playing his football professionally in Canada. There he realized that the current “one-size-fits-all” approach to education is the exact opposite of the variety of learning styles.

“That’s why I created the Rhodes Academy for students like me,” said DeBerry. “I knew I wanted to use art, but I wanted to do something a little different. I want to use the entrepreneurial side of art to increase the interest of my students.”

RCAT is currently undergoing a rebrand. For more information, please visit this website.