Angus Willows is the type of student we love to see attend DMA: someone who truly wants to use technology to build a better future for everybody.
Angus Willows built a model of the housing unit for his electric skateboard on a Form 1 3D printer at DMA, in order to prep for the final kick-push at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire.
In some ways, Angus is your typical 15-year-old. He gets a lot of homework, plays on a soccer team and has been working to save up for a really big purchase. “I am still working toward my car, but I’m getting closer. I turn 16 in a few months, so I’m excited to finally be getting some more freedom,” he recently said.
So, a standard teen. But in other ways, he goes beyond the standard teen expectations. As an active member of “The Maker Generation,” Angus worked on creating his very own electronic skateboard this summer. The coolest part? He used what he learned at DMA to take it all the way to the Seattle Mini Maker Faire.
What was the 3D Printing & Industrial Design course like for you?
I definitely learned a lot in this class. This class was really fun, but a bit challenging for me at first. The feedback we got on our projects was great, and I liked the freedom to be able to create whatever I wanted for my final project. I wanted to learn as much as I could about 3D printing, but I also took this class because I wanted to build a part for my electric skateboard.
Tell us about your board.
On one side, my skateboard has two batteries, and on the other side, it has the electronics. I wanted to build a part that could house the electronics and batteries, so that if I go over a puddle or rock, the components won’t get hurt. I have the model inside (a smaller version), but I’m going to print out the full model when I get home.
DMA helped me achieve my goal, by giving me a space to create and learn more about 3D printing and industrial design.
– Angus Willows, Inventor & DMA 3D Printing & Industrial Design student
What do you consider the most valuable thing you discovered at DMA?
The best thing I learned was about the Form 1 printers. I think they’re a really cool concept. I also really liked that with this class we did a tour of Room 36, Stanford’s Product Realization Lab. They have all the 3D printers, mills, die-cutting and a lot of other different fabrication machines. I don’t have those big machines at home, so I really liked being able to see it all in one place.
Would you recommend DMA to your friends?
DMA is a really good program. A lot of my friends like 3D printing and I let them use my 3D printer, but they just get the blueprints online. I think DMA could help them learn more about the whole process and that they’d like it a lot.
What did you like about your stay at camp?
I liked the whole DMA experience and the area around Stanford. I was in the overnight program, so I got to sleep here on campus. The dorms were really nice. The entire Stanford area is really nice. And I thought it was the best cafeteria food I’ve ever had. I really liked that we got free time and the freedom to walk around and explore campus. I really liked the overnight program and I’m glad I did it.
Why did you choose to attend DMA’s camps at Stanford University?
I’m from Seattle, and came down specifically to come to Stanford. I really like the sun, but Seattle’s not a very sunny place. My parents wanted me to have the pre-collegiate experience to see what it’s like to be living on Stanford’s campus; my dad went to Stanford and I want to go here some day.
Pt. 2: Taking His Invention to Port
We caught up with Angus again after the summer, and while his skateboard was a success at a Maker Faire event, he’s already planning bigger and better things:
So what happened after you returned home?
I finished building the 3D model for my skateboard and displayed it at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire. DMA helped me achieve my goal, by giving me a space to create and learn more about 3D printing and industrial design.
Cool. Sounds like the Maker Faire was a big success…
The Maker Faire was a lot of fun and I’m glad that I’m able to be a part of it. One of the coolest things that I saw there was a huge snake robot that actually moved. The Maker Faire inspired me to start 3D printing more, because it showed me all the cool things that can be made on a 3D printer.
I think that the next thing I am going to build is a sailboat that doesn’t heel (tip over when wind hits the sail) because I love sailing and I want to make it more enjoyable and less expensive for the average consumer.
Join the Maker Generation!
Next summer will be here before you know it. Plan on spending part of it at one of the DMA tech camp locations across the U.S. and Canada. Camps are held on the campuses of prestigious universities like Stanford and Harvard, so you get to enjoy a pre-collegiate experience you’ll never forget.
Be like Angus and explore your creative passion for 3D printing and industrial design. Make it happen next summer at DMA!
David Reimschussel, the on-site camp director for Digital Media Academy’s Stanford University tech camp, is one of the busiest people you’ll ever meet.
As an on-site director for DMA’s Stanford location, he says his primary goal during the busy summer camp season is, “to give support to my team, in order to provide a successful and happy experience for all of our campers.”
This was David’s third season at DMA. He has also served DMA camps at Drexel University and Swarthmore College. During the regular school year, he resides in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
We caught up with him recently and got his reflections on his important job at DMA’s Stanford camp:
How does being located on-site “24-7″ help you perform your job better as camp director?
It’s a huge advantage to be living on campus because I’m able to interact with the overnight team and lend support to it immediately. I’m able to be on call, should something arise in the evening or during weekends.
Plus, I’m able to assist on Saturdays and Sundays, when we prepare for a new week of campers. And I’m able to be here for overnight check-in on Sundays.
How has your non-summer work as a choral director prepared you to run DMA’s biggest camp and flagship operation?
My regular jobs are teacher and choral director. But being a choral director is more than just being a teacher who prepares lessons for classes.
I’m also constantly organizing performances, trips, uniforms, fundraisers, collaborative projects, budgets and numbers, and so on. So those skills definitely transfer over.
We really do cater to families that are looking for a summer enrichment program, instead of just a camp for their children.
– David Reimschussel, DMA On-Site Director, Stanford University
I’ve worked in education since college, when I studied Music Education. In the choral program, I work with about 450 kids on a daily basis, so managing and directing that many people helps prepare you for managing and directing people in other scenarios, such as camp life.
What makes Digital Media Academy different from other tech camps?
DMA is now in its thirteenth year and we’re getting bigger and bigger – adding more courses and locations each year. We really do cater to families that are looking for a summer enrichment program, instead of just a camp for their children. Fortunately, we do a great job at DMA of providing both a personal enrichment program as well as a classic summer camp experience.
The quality of the programs and instruction offered is extremely strong and it’s amazing what our students can accomplish in a week of DMA classes.
This year we also launched a new initiative for programs here directed toward girls, our Made by Girls program, committing tech and making tech classes available to girls specifically.
What kind of support do students receive to reinforce the material being taught in class?
DMA does a fantastic job of hiring outstanding instructors, who deliver top-grade instruction in each of the classes. And DMA backs up that instruction with teaching assistants who are extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter and can reinforce what’s being taught in the classroom.
In addition to that, we generally try to hire camp counselors who are technically savvy and can give students additional feedback in the evenings.
The DMA community is so supportive, like when campers are hanging out during break with students from other DMA courses. They’re giving and getting additional support from each other. They share ideas, collaborate together on different projects and help build each other up during the entire week of camp.
How much time is spent in class and what kind of recreation breaks do the students get? What about the recreation activities for students who stay overnight?
Throughout the average DMA day, campers devote about six hours to working on their projects in class with another two hours spent on recreation breaks and lunch.
As far as overnight students, there are activities for them to do in the evening. There’s typically two hours worth of planned activities – be it a movie night, s’mores party or other ice-breaker events – and then two hours worth of free time, when they can explore the campus, play sports, hang out with new friends, and generally enjoy their summertime with like-minded peers.
What type of hurdles does your team typically encounter and how do you go about solving those problems?
We definitely face challenges on a daily basis. Inevitably, with all the moving parts that the Stanford camp has, something doesn’t go according to plan and we all have to adjust to that.
For example, early one morning we realized some of the classroom computers had crashed and lost the software preferences for the class being taught. So we contacted our tech team and they reinstalled the software before any of our campers arrived and knew a problem had even existed.
Or every so often a student will miss the check-in window. So I make sure they have their camp T-shirt and meal card for the day. Then I direct them to their right classroom, and make sure they arrive safely.
Sounds like you know how to roll with the punches and keep your composure…
Problems may crop up, but the key is that our team keeps a really positive attitude when things don’t go correctly. Everybody knows the sequence of who to go to for help with problems, and everyone works together to solve any glitches that arise.
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to work at Stanford and take on the challenges and rewards of working with such a large and awesome team!
On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to go into space, as well as the youngest American astronaut (at age 32) – a record she still holds.
Her groundbreaking achievements in a variety of fields have motivated a generation of space enthusiasts and inspired young women to follow her example and succeed in STEM careers.
More Than an Astronaut
Dr. Ride won countless honors and awards:
She received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the National Space Society’s von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award, and was honored with the National Space Grant Distinguished Service Award.
She was awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal twice. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, California Hall of Fame at the California Museum for History, Women, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
After Ride passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2012, Women in Aviation, International (WAI) inducted her into its International Pioneer Hall of Fame.
Dr. Ride has since been honored with several other prestigious awards. She was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, and received (along with Neil Armstrong) The Space Foundation’s 2013 General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, for the pair’s contributions to space exploration.
A Multiple Stanford Graduate
The Stanford School of Engineering also named Dr. Ride a Stanford “Engineering Hero,” an honor given to Stanford scientists who have benefited humanity through engineering and science.
But before that, way back in 1973, Sally Ride was just another ambitious college student, double-majoring at Stanford. She earned a B.S degree in Physics and a B.A in English.
She then pursued her Master’s in Physics, and completed her doctoral work in Physics in 1978, the same year she joined NASA. Her dissertation: “The Interaction of X-Rays with the Interstellar Medium.”
An Author of Kids’ Space Books
While Physics remained her primary focus, Ride also put her English degree to good use. She was a longtime advocate for education, who wished to improve the way STEM education is taught.
She also co-wrote seven children’s books, most of them with Tam O’Shaughnessy. These stories all focused on space, as she intended to encourage children and foster their interest in the sciences.
Plus, an Entrepreneur to Boot!
In 2001, Dr. Ride founded Sally Ride Science. The company is a successful and ongoing testament to her pursuit and enduring passion to motivate girls and young women in STEM careers.
The company hosts science festivals and programs, and creates publications for upper-elementary and middle-school students, along with their parents and teachers.
And now…a Google Doodle
May 26 is Dr. Sally Ride’s birthday. As a tribute, Google featured her in a Google Doodle. Google Doodles often celebrate the achievements of people who have a profound impact on society.
For all of the gender barriers she broke through and for all the good work she did in helping inspire girls to participate in STEM fields (and making initiatives like DMA’s very own Made By Girls a possibility), Google couldn’t have chosen a better candidate.
Into engineering and rocket science? Check out DMA’s tech camps. Both girls and boys learn real-world skills from tech and engineering experts.
Janet Armstrong is a high school teacher at Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California. She recently attended CUE (Computer Using Educators) Conference, where she learned of Digital Media Academy.
Seeing the importance of technology in today’s world and the importance of keeping up with and teaching the latest technology to her students, she is going to take a DMA course this summer to advance her skills. The following are her views on technology in the classroom.
Schools have seen the need to educate students to make appropriate, efficient and productive use of available technologies. At the same time, they are compelled to reduce the digital divide that exists between higher and lower socioeconomic groups of students, giving them all access to the same tools. Consequently, as the tools advance, educators must be at the forefront of lifelong learning.
“Lifelong learning” is a phrase that has been buzzing around academia for the last decade or longer. It’s a mindset educators must have to stay connected to the ever-evolving technology that seems to grow exponentially each year. Teachers and administrators MUST stay abreast these advances or they will quickly find themselves becoming educational fossils.
Mastering Today’s Technology…and Tomorrow’s
Skills once reserved only for high school students are more appropriate today for middle school students. This has created the opportunity to expose high school students to cutting-edge technologies that are fun, interesting and highly engaging. At Wilcox High School in Santa Clara we are opening two new digital media courses that employ the use of Adobe CS4 products to teach Web design, digital image editing, digital storytelling, and publication design. To be a proficient teacher I must become a proficient user of these tools.
This summer, DMA’s tech camps at Stanford University will prepare me to be such a teacher. The Introduction to Web Design with Adobe CS4 – Dreamweaver, Flash & Photoshop course will enhance my current skills as I learn the latest version of these programs to design lessons and activities for my students.
Start Learning & Keep Learning
Life today is complex and diverse. As never before, communication involves the constant use of visuals, sound, and action. The Digital Age surrounds us now and education has the responsibility to prepare our children to use the tools today and into the future. Thankfully, Digital Media Academy has revolutionized this process.
What do you do with 2 pre-teen girls during summer that is fun, challenging, not academic, yet a learning experience? You enroll them in Digital Media – Hands on filmmaking class, that’s what! My girls had a blast at the camp, they were not very eager to go on the first day, but from the second day on, they were getting up early and waiting to go to the camp. The entire experience of being at Stanford University, learning about different techniques in film editing and enhancing was excellent.
The teachers were great – kids learned about group participation, leadership, acting, script writing all in one class. The kids had to make a 10 minute movie and an ad, had to come up with their own script, act, and edit their films. For my kids it was a real eye opener and got them to realize the effort behind movie making. I doubt if they will view movies the same way again. Who knows, maybe they might even pick it as a career.
Definitely worth the time and money invested!
Andy Hoffman is currently a junior at Carnegie Vanguard High School in Houston, Texas, set to graduate in the Spring of 2010. Andy has known since he was 10 years old that he wanted to find a college that would allow him to get a degree in Video Game Design and allow him to go into the gaming industry.
The following is an interview with Andy. Read how Digital Media Academy inspired Andy and helped him acquire great skills that have allowed him to pursue his passion.
DMA: How old are you?
DMA: How many summers have you been attending DMA?
Andy: This will be my fourth summer.
Andy has taken the following game creation courses at DMA:
- 3d Game Creation I with 3ds Max (July 06)
- 3d Game Creation II with 3ds Max (July 07)
- 3d Game Creation III with 3ds Max and Maya (Aug. 07)
- Advanced Video Game Production I with 3ds Max, Maya, & Zbrush (July 08)
- Advanced Video Game Production II with 3ds Max, Maya, & Zbrush (July 08)
DMA: Which DMA location did you attend?
Andy: Stanford University. I enjoy the campus environment, it’s very easy to get around and a relaxing environment.
DMA: Prior to attending DMA, did you know what career path you wanted to take?
Andy: Somewhat. The main issue that prevented me from deciding to go into game design prior to attending DMA was the practicality of it.
DMA: Describe your experience at DMA.
Andy: In the past three summers I’ve learned a lot and had fun doing it.
DMA: How has DMA helped you in deciding what you would like to do when you “grow up”?
Andy: Meeting other kids with similar interests, and the instructors and speakers who came and spoke to us about the game design industry really inspired me.
DMA: Do you know which University you would like to attend?
Andy: Through the help of DMA and my high school counselor, I found several incredible options that are considered prestigious in the game industry. I’ve now narrowed my search down to Savannah College of Art and Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, Southern Methodist University, The University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Southern California. SMU offers a 5 year program that includes a masters degree as well.
DMA: What stands out the most for you from your time spent at DMA camps.
Andy: Being in high school, but living on a college campus for a few weeks out of the summer doing what I will hopefully be doing a year or two from now when I’m actually in college.
DMA: Describe the quality of the facilities, computers, instructors, etc.
Andy: Beyond expectations.
We also got a chance to talk to Andy’s mom, Joni Hoffman.
DMA: As a parent, please describe your experience with DMA.
Joni: My son Andy has been interested in Video Game Design since he was 10 years old. He attended several local video game creation computer camps offered in Houston. We found that Andy knew more than the instructors, even at a young age. He would ask questions they simply could not answer. We soon learned that Andy needed a more serious and rigorous program than what we had locally. I was thrilled to find DMA. It has been an incredible experience for Andy. This summer will be his 4th summer and unfortunately his last. He will be a senior. However because of DMA he is pursuing a degree in Video Game Design. The portfolio he has created from what he learned at DMA has helped him become a serious candidate for scholarship money at several universities that offer Video Game Design as a degree.
DMA: Do you feel that DMA is your typical camp? Explain.
Joni: NO. Living on the Stanford campus was an incredible opportunity.
DMA: Do you feel that DMA has opened your son’s eyes to know which career path he wants to pursue?
DMA attracts kids literally from all over the world who have a similar passion and interest. Andy has had roommates from the UK, Canada and France. These same kids may even reconnect someday once they are in the real world pursuing their dreams of being in the gaming industry.
DMA: Would you recommend DMA to others?
DMA: Anything else you would like to comment on about DMA?
With the state of the economy, many “stable” degrees no longer offer a guarantee of landing a good job after graduation. It’s more important than ever to pick from degrees that are going to have jobs available. The video game industry is booming and probably only going to get stronger. I think Andy is fortunate that his passion for this industry has great potential for a very successful career as an adult.
I truly believe that DMA helped shape Andy’s future and his DMA experience has definitively given him a competitive advantage in the college admissions process. Not to mention he had a blast. Kudos to the staff and counselors at DMA!
Learn more about Digital Media Academy Film Camps for Teens in this video. See what teen students are saying about DMA summer technology camp programs. DMA summer camp students get the opportunity to act as a producer, screenwriter, actor / actress, director, scout, art director, digital video editor, and more! This is a truly amazing tech learning experience.