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Designing with a Future in Mind 

Computer Science Education Week is December 4-10!

Student poses with computer.

At Lathrop High School, students are adventuring into the realm of video and game design! Through a dedicated “Intro to Video Game Design” class, students are learning hands-on skills where they blend computer literacy with an artistic twist.

For Isabella Martinez, a 10th grader with a curiosity for all things creative, this class is changing her computer capabilities while she escapes into the fascinating world of video game design. "I tend to be drawn toward art a lot more, and as for computer skills, I'm not really good with them. Combining something I enjoy, like art, with something I need to improve on, like computer skills, is what drew me in. And, if I'm being honest, I really like playing video games," Isabella exclaimed.

In “Intro to Video Game Design”, students are equipped with professional computer tools including Blender, Edge, InDesign, and more. In addition to helping students learn the fundamentals of video game design, these tools are widely used throughout various creative careers, such as building mobile applications, web and graphic design, and film animation.

Students are even using advanced technology for a current project, allowing them to mold stylized creatures for their unique video games. After students breathe life into their creations, they learn to map out animated sequences.

“In video game design, we have to walk before we can run. First, students create their creature, and then we put the creature in the game sequence. To do this, we make a first-person camera that can run, jump, crouch, and bump into things to understand the character’s point of view,” explains Mr. Roberts, the teacher for the course.

 

Student uses computer to make a 3D model.


As students tackle the challenge of thinking strategically and critically about every action, point of view, and camera angle, Isabella finds herself captivated by the intricate process. "It's been fun. It's just so cool to see what goes on behind the scenes. Seeing every layer that goes into making a creature. I feel like this class has changed my view on how I design everything.”

Lathrop High is not just witnessing the formation of budding video game designers; it is providing tools students can use in their future, whether they choose to attend college or go directly into a career after high school.

Through this class, Isabella has been able to push her creative thinking and just like her peers in class, she now possesses skills that will lay out the foundation for her future success. “I feel like I want do something in the art field after high school, so I’m trying to explore different classes that let me develop my creativity.”

  • Computer Science
  • Lathrop HS