For the last eight years, DigiPen has offered the ProjectFUN Technology Academies to high-school students in a variety of locations around North America.
With a curriculum organized around the production of video game projects, juniors and seniors learn the basic concepts and skills that professionals use in the industry.
This program is designed to prepare students for college programs in disciplines related to the computer science, mathematics, and the art behind video games. Additionally, they gain experience making video games and discover whether this is something they want to pursue in the future. Students participate in a Technology Academy during the school day through their local high schools or skills centers, and they can receive up to three academic credits: one in math, one in art, and one elective credit in computer science.
This year, DigiPen partnered with the Puget Sound Skills Center in SeaTac and the New Market Skills Center in Tumwater, Washington, to offer a new online Animation Academy. This program provides students across Washington State with the opportunity to develop fine art and animation skills. Through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online lessons, students first learn and hone fundamental art skills and concepts, including drawing, composition, lines, values, and perspective. Then they move on to essential animation skills and concepts, like character concept and design, basic keyframe animation, motion studies, and 2D and 3D computer animation. The traditional computer science Technology Academy curriculum has also been adapted to an online version.
In the following academic year, DigiPen plans on adding new sites in locations near and far, like Bellevue High School and Singapore.