OGDEN, Utah –Weber State University’s computer science department will host a week-long camp for 30 high school students from June 10-14, exploring the challenges and rewards of video game design and development. The workshop lasts from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily in the Technical Education building, Room 202S.
Now in its sixth year, the camp will provide information about the commitment and educational background required to succeed as a programmer in the video game industry, including proficiency in computer science, mathematics and physics. With 190 million households owning next-generation video game consoles, the camp also will address the shifting demographics of gamers.
“The one-week camp represents an excellent opportunity for all students who are curious about an education or career in computer science or video game development,” said computer science chair Brian Rague. “Students excited about game design and/or computer programming will gain valuable experience through daily presentations and hands-on exercises that will be given by faculty and industry professionals.”
Weber State currently offers a Game Development Institutional Certificate along with comprehensive bachelor’s and associate degree programs in software engineering.
A special guest speaker, Thomas Estrada from Disney Interactive Studios, will highlight the video game industry on Thursday. Estrada works on cinematic design and animation for Disney, including the development of graphic design for the game Cars 2 – World Grand Prix. Estrada will discuss how ideas become reality in the video game business as well as describe a typical work week for those in the industry.
In addition, seven computer science faculty members will teach key skills, including the elements of good game play, game mechanics and genres, interactivity and controls, level design, programming, and intelligence. Separate design teams will compete to create an engaging, working game by the end of the workshop. Students and faculty will select the top three games as part of the contest.
The camp is currently full, but names can be added to the waiting list in the event of an opening. Similar camps will be offered June 17 to 20 and July 15 to 18 for fourth to eighth grade students.
The computer science department also is running its first CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) summer workshop June 24 to 26 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Technical Education building, Room 202S. The three-day workshop, supported by Google, targets local high school computer science and technology teachers, helping them effectively introduce computational thinking and problem solving into their classrooms.
Three WSU computer science faculty members will demonstrate fun and engaging hands-on activities and instructional tools that are effective in promoting teacher/student investigations into the world of computing.
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