Keeping your kids busy during the summer break is something that, with the right planning, can lead to a summer filled with learning and fun activities. We all want our children to learn in an environment that inspires them and helps them build creative and technical skills that reinforce their academics.
We know that, for some, finding the right summer activities to challenge our kids – while at the same time providing an experience that allows them to explore their interests and expand their talents – can be difficult.
As the school year ends and the approaching summer looms, we here at DigiPen Academy in Redmond, Washington have a solution for you and your family to explore: our ProjectFUN workshops.
The goal with any course offered through DigiPen Academy is to meet students and families where they are today – and then help them reach the next level. What is “next level” for a summer camp? We want students to learn skills that keep their minds fresh, challenged, and engaged over the summer months in preparation for next year.
Each ProjectFUN Workshop is led by amazing teachers with the goal of inspiring each and every child to build their creative and technical skills, while reinforcing core academics and critical thinking abilities in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
Jonathan Thaler started with a few DigiPen video game classes through WANIC as a sophomore at Redmond High School. In his junior year, he began working as a teacher’s assistant in the summer ProjectFUN Workshops.
“It was a Junior 2D workshop over the summer,” Thaler said. “It really got me interested in wanting to be a teacher and helping kids learn.”
As a senior, he continued developing his skills as a teacher’s assistant, then a teacher, and eventually landed a job as a full-time instructor and curriculum developer with us in the K-12 department, where we run DigiPen Academy and the ProjectFUN Workshops.
Jonathan is a fantastic member of our team, and proof of the opportunities available when parents recognize their child’s interests and give them the tools and experiences to explore and learn – especially over the summer.
Under the encouraging guidance of a talented teaching staff like Jonathan Thaler, students – from Kindergarten through high school seniors – learn, create, and collaborate with hands-on projects in video game programming, art and animation, game design, engineering, and music and sound design.
These workshops are more than your average summer camp. By promoting teamwork and personal expression while blending STEM skills and core academic subjects like math, physics, art, and writing, our students learn valuable lifelong skills.
What are your options?
Depending on your child’s grade, we offer are several age groups and a multitude of workshop options.
The Young Explorers Workshops offer students entering Kindergarten through fourth grade the opportunity to learn robotics, game design and creation, programming, electronics and even engineering. With six weeks of workshops [to choose from between June 24 and Aug. 12, young learners have a number of affordable options to get them to the next level of their academic achievement.
Young Explorers Workshops teach young students the basic principles of art and technology as they create their own basic video games, animations, and robots. Whether your child figures out every trick in a video game, expresses creativity through arts and crafts, or just wants to know how things work, these workshops are sure to inspire.
If you feel like your student is excited, driven, and interested in a series of workshops, you will want to make sure they take Level 1 courses before moving on to Level 2. The way most of our sequential workshops are structured, the majority of students will need to follow this guide. Because we focus on differentiated learning— meeting each student where they’re at– our fantastic teachers can make sure that all students, whether they have some prior knowledge or not, can have a great experience in Level 1 before they advance.
For kids [entering grades five through seven, there are Junior Workshops in topics such as digital and physical art, video game programming, game design, and music and sound design. These are great for students developing more serious interests, but we also encourage exploration—we want students to try different topics and different routes within those topics. Love digital game design? Try a physical game workshop! Dream of being an animator? Check out Junior Worldbuilding. Your student may find new horizons to explore or different, creative applications of their talents.
As they continue to [advance in their learning, maturity, and grade level, it’s important to find the right summer opportunity for students entering their teen years. If your student is entering grade 8 or above, there is a ProjectFUN Workshop just for them. We find many students in Teen Workshops want to focus in and hone their skills, so check out our Teen Workshops here. [
With so many summer options, there are a few important dates to remember for enrolling your student in a ProjectFUN Workshop. Workshops are one or two weeks long, so the learning environment is quick enough to keeps kids engaged and long enough to help them develop long-term skills and experiences.
Summer Workshop Sessions
Session 1 workshops runs from June 24th through July 5th. (No workshops on the Fourth of July)[
Session 2 workshops runs from July 8th through July 19th.
Session 3 workshops run from July 22nd through August 2nd.
Session 4 workshops run from August 5th through August 16th.
All workshops include a freshly made, peanut-free lunch that may include DigiPen’s daily fresh bread, made on site. There are snack breaks and free after workshop activities that include traditional games, video game tournaments and trivia competition. We also host a Final Showcase on the last Friday of each workshop for students to show off their accomplishments and projects to friends and family.
“All parents want their kids to succeed,” Raymond Yan, Senior VP at DigiPen Institute of Technology said. “Our ProjectFUN Workshops will challenge each student to be lifelong learner. This is differentiated learning. We meet the students where they are first – and if they like something, we provide a path forward for learning.”
There is no final registration deadline, but don’t hesitate to sign up; since each workshop has limited space, they can fill up quickly!
When you are ready to take your child’s learning and achievement to the next level, DigiPen Academy is where you start.