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Digital Media Summer Camp For Teens: The Relaunch of Tomorrow’s Master of Digital Media Program

Mar 22, 2016 By Crissy Campbell

The Centre for Digital Media had a number of major milestones in 2015, but none as meaningful as re-launching our digital media summer camp for teens, Tomorrow's Master of Digital Media (TMDM) program.

In 2008 the CDM, in partnership with EA, ran a very successful intensive month long summer boot camp for high school students. For a variety of reasons, the program was shelved in 2009 but there was always the intent to relaunch it. As other projects took priority, TMDM was forgotten until one of it’s original participants entered the MDM program in 2014, 6 years later. After getting to know Alex again and talking about how much the program meant to him and his fellow TMDM grads, we redesigned and re-launched TMDM in August 2015.

With the support of EA, Roadhouse Interactive and Sony Imageworks, TMDM became a 3-week intensive summer boot camp for teens interested in games and digital media. It gave teens an opportunity to create a digital media project using tools and techniques taught in the MDM program. The students had working prototypes finished in just 3 weeks, something they and their parents were very excited about.

The goal of the program is to whet the appetite of students to enter the digital media industry in a variety of roles, from artists to programmers. With field trips to EA, Telus Science World and Sony Image Works, they got a sense of what possible career paths they might take.

TMDM students learning teamwork and collaboration

Program Overview: Week 1

Twelve students arrived at the CDM in August to start their 3-week adventure. What better way to start than playing games and learning the mechanics of teamwork and collaboration. They also learned software skills, brainstorming techniques and management tools as well as tools to help them create a supportive and collaborative environment—like Rules of Play, OARRS, mind mapping and Scrum. Students did not need to be technical experts to create engaging and worthwhile projects. They learn how to learn the skills they need throughout the camp.

TMDM students mind mapping

By the end of the week, students were given a real-world problem to solve and had to pitch ideas on interactive digital media projects that could solve that problem. Students and faculty then voted on the ideas and students were assigned to teams of four on three different projects.

Field trip to EA

Project Build: Week 2

Then the work began. Each team applied the project management tools that they learned in the first week to organize and scop their project. They created prototypes to explain the flow and the features of their interactive application. Mentors, both from the MDM program and the digital media industry, helped them and offered guidance. By the end of the second week, each team had a working prototype.

TMDM students building their projects

Students also got a taste of creating Machinima movies when renowned Machinima filmmaker Isabelle Arvers gave them a half day workshop.

Final Presentations: Week 3

In the 3rd week, students worked frantically to finish and polish their projects and created final presentations.

TMDM students finalizing their projects

On the last day, students presented their projects to over 100 family, friends  and members of the digital media industry.  

The projects were impressive. One group built a police brutality reporting app. Another team focused on stress relief and made a series of mini-games that provided stress relief. The third team looked at water conservation awareness and created a game that followed a character through their daily life and where water was wasted.

Overall, guests were blown away by the quality of work produced by the students in just three weeks. A BBQ and cake for family and friends finished the boot camp.

TMDM 2016 Applications and Sponsorship Opportunities

The CDM is excited to announce that we’re running TMDM again this year from August 8 - 26th and we’re now accepting applications.

We're also looking for TMDM sponsors. TMDM is a cost-recovery initiative and we rely on sponsors to help defray some of the costs associated with running the program.

Sponsorship allows us to offer camp bursaries to deserving candidates, and to supplement operational camp necessities, such as field trips, lunches and staff. In order to be able to offer TMDM to all youths with a passion for digital media, Centre for Digital Media needs sponsors.

If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor, download our 2016 Sponsorship Package or get in touch with our director of Industry Relations, Dennis Chenard.

See What TMDM Was Like Last Year: