Summer Camp in Massachusetts Helps Exceptional Child Integrate Love for Literature with Technology

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11 year-old turns the classics into a video game at Smith College Technology Camp in Massachusetts.

Looks can be deceiving. At only 11 and a half years old, Jessica was a home schooled child of exceptional ability from Northampton, studying at high school and university levels. She was awarded a national prize for her vast knowledge of Classic Literature. As an author herself, Jessica’s mother, Ann, recognized and encouraged her daughter’s strengths in the Classics like Shakespeare and Greek Mythology. Jessica also displayed a natural talent for cartooning and drawing. Wanting to widen her daughter’s interests and believing in the value of technology, Ann began looking for a way to teach her daughter more about technology. She was thrilled when she learned about iD Tech Camps Smith College, Massachusetts, summer camp location (, and immediately registered Jessica for a weeklong course in Multimedia & Game Creation. iD Tech Camps provides hands-on technology summer camps in Massachusetts for boys and girls ages 7-17 at Smith College, Merrimack College and MIT.

“Living in the world we live in, it’s important for Jessica to learn technology skills,” said Jessica’s mother. Surprisingly, this was one area of study where Jessica wasn’t yet working at high school and university levels. Knowing only the essentials of word processing, Jessica entered the Video Game creation course at one of iD Tech Camps Massachusetts summer camp locations with limited computer skills, but that wouldn’t last long.

Combining both her interests, cartoons and classic literature, Jessica created and developed the game "Theseus and the Minotaur,” based on Greek Mythology. Using Stagecast Creator, a program that builds “sims” – simulations, interactive stories, and games, Jessica learned how to design a game with multiple characters and multiple levels. The object of her “Theseus and the Minotaur” game was to chase the Minotaur through a labyrinth, pursue and collect yarn balls, then at the end watch Theseus chase the Minataur.

After one week in the Video Game creation course, Jessica’s mother was so impressed by Jessica’s newfound creative technical abilities that she asked her daughter if she wanted to attend another week of camp, this time to be counted as a home schooling credit. Her daughter’s sparkling eyes and enthusiastic smile answered her question immediately. Jessica’s mom loved how her daughter applied her passion and knowledge for Classic Greek Mythology to game creation.

This talented student is looking forward to continuing to develop her tech skills. Inspired by the characters she cartooned for her video game, Jessica was working on a series of comic strips. Give this girl an inch and she’ll turn it into a mile.

About iD Tech Camps

Founded in 1999, iD Tech Camps provides hands-on technology summer camps in Massachusetts for boys and girls ages 7-17 at Smith College, Merrimack College and MIT as well as 37 other prestigious universities in 19 states. Locations include Columbia University, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Lake Forest College, Carnegie Mellon University, Vassar College, Emory University, Stanford University and more. At these day and overnight summer camps in Massachusetts, students produce digital movies, create video games, design web pages, learn programming and robotics, and more. The hands-on, project-based programs offer one computer per student with an average of 6 students per instructor. Each student completes a project at the end of the weeklong program. Apple, Adobe, Canon, Microsoft, Macromedia, HP and others have partnered with iD Tech Camps to raise the bar in technology education.

Media contact: Karen Thurm Safran, iD Tech Camps, 408-666-8353

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Karen Thurm Safran
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