Digital Media Academy will make its first appearance at NYU this summer. The academy offers a series of science, technology, engineering and mathematic courses for people of all ages.
“[Since] there’s so much growth in kids wanting to take tech classes, Digital Media Academy just expanded to a bunch of different universities across the United States,” said Marcus Duvoisin, assistant director of curriculum and instruction for the Digital Media Academy.
The camps offer instruction in a range of subjects including graphic design, game design, robotics and photography. The Digital Media Academy recruits university students with experience in STEM subjects as camp instructors.
“Mostly we’ll reach out to students to be a part of our instructional staff to be an instructor or TA, and our courses range from engineering to game programming,” Duvoisin said. “We’re not limited to those fields, [but] usually the majority of who we hire is from those majors.”
SCPS junior Sam Tan, who worked as an instructor at the UCLA program this past summer, said working at the STEM camps allowed him to explore several career paths both inside and outside of the four fields.
“I learned a lot through the teaching process and loved every minute of it,” Tan said. “DMA is what solidified my career choice of wanting to becoming a teacher.”
The camps are held at 25 major universities including Harvard, Yale and Stanford. Duvoisin said camp locations are determined by several factors.
“They always have a list of criteria like average income of a family around the campus,” Duvoisin said. “They also look at growing trends in kids and teens having an interest in the subject and then the size of the campus. NYU is a major university, and we usually stick with major universities.”
Tan said camps expose young people to explore subjects not typically taught in schools.
“STEM camps allow kids to harness and ameliorate skills they already possess,” Tan said. “It may also awaken other interests and bring about skills they didn’t even know they had.”
In addition to the academic component of the camps, there are several social aspects that instructors will facilitate, Duvoisin explained.
“The kids we get at camp are introverted, very shy or are lacking social skills, and that’s something that we try to address,” he said. “We put them with like-minded kids, and we do character and social skill building activities.”
Tan added that academic and social aspects of the programs require a diverse set of skills from college students who wish to work as instructors.
“Those with passions to teach should apply to STEM camps this summer,” Tan said. “No matter how broad your skills may be with technology, programming, photography or filmmaking, there are always more things to learn. Also, in the meantime, you get to work with wonderful co-workers and get to change the lives of kids.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday Feb. 3 print edition.
Bailey Evans is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]