iD Gaming Academy for Teens Announces a New University Location and Additional Course as Adoption of Video Games as STEM Learning Tools Gains Momentum

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Intensive, pre-college program that teaches game development, level design, programming, and 3D modeling expands to the University of Washington this summer—in addition to Harvard, Stanford, and other university campuses.

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By introducing teens to multiple facets of the gaming industry, iD Gaming Academy inspires students to explore the budding game development job market.

Good news for video game lovers: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educators and parents are beginning to see the educational value in video games. Consequently, teens can now do more than simply play games. They can create and develop them, with help from programs like iD Gaming Academy.

Powered by internalDrive, iD Gaming Academy offers courses in game programming, development, level design, 3D modeling and animation. Students gain insight into the industry, and learn firsthand how to turn their passion for gaming into a potentially lucrative career. As the notion of game-as-learning-tool gains traction, iD Gaming Academy has expanded this summer, adding a location to the University of Washington in Seattle. It has also broadened its course offerings with a new course titled Game Development – Minecraft.

Held at nine different university campuses throughout the U.S., including Harvard and Stanford, iD Gaming Academy runs in a two-week format. Students stay overnight on campus. They also tour game studios, interact with industry professionals, learn tips to get into the game development field, and collaborate with like-minded peers and instructors. Using their new knowledge, each student produces a portfolio of work that may serve as a competitive edge when applying to colleges. The Academy offers accredited Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Stanford Continuing Studies, enabling teens to demonstrate they’ve completed courses with college-level difficulty.

By introducing teens to multiple facets of the gaming industry, iD Gaming Academy inspires students to explore the budding game development job market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts that by 2018, careers in software development will increase by 29%, while the artist and multimedia specialist sector will grow 14%. These rising numbers are promising for aspiring game programmers, artists, and developers.

At iD Gaming Academy, students work with industry standard software including programs like Unreal® Development Kit, XNA® Game Studio, Unity, and Autodesk® Maya®. This summer, iD Gaming Academy will debut their Game Development – Minecraft course, which utilizes Minecraft and Eclipse™ for Java.

A guarantee of 8 students per instructor allows each student to receive personalized, one-on-one instruction. Academy faculty members have real-world industry knowledge. They act as mentors, lending insight and fostering vital 21st century skills: critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration. During non-instructional time, students battle it out in LAN gaming tournaments with Team Fortress®2 and other popular titles.

“iD helped me identify what it was I enjoyed,” says Mark Grimm, an iD alumnus. “I also realized that many people have lucrative careers in the video game industry.” Mark attended MIT, and was hired by Harmonix Game Studio. Last year, he returned to internalDrive as Director of an iD Programming Academy location.

The gaming industry is rapidly expanding, and teens’ technical abilities must grow with equal speed, lest thousands of lucrative jobs go unfilled. With the guidance of iD Gaming Academy, teens this summer can prepare for future STEM careers in a fun, relevant way, while gaining a competitive advantage for college.

iD Gaming Academy engages students ages 13-18 in STEM education at nine prestigious universities nationwide, including Stanford, Harvard, the University of Washington, and others. Sessions are two weeks long, overnight. Teens can also build online portfolios and explore future career paths at iD Programming Academy, and iD Visual Arts Academy. Ages 7-17 can attend weeklong, day and overnight summer programs at iD Tech Camps. Visit or call 1-888-709-TECH (8324).

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Karen Thurm Safran
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