Like most youngsters, Josiah Davis enjoys video games.
When he’s at home, the Mossdale Elementary School student is wielding a controller, playing ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’ or ‘Madden NFL 17.’
Davis is among the 26 students enrolled in the inaugural Science Technology Engineering Math – or STEM – Summer Camp at Lathrop High.
“It’s a crash-course of my regular (be.next Charter School) Video Game Design and Digital Art Academy but condensed in four days,” said instructor Kenneth ‘Scott’ Myers on Tuesday.
This was Day 2 of the weeklong Game Design Camp offered to Manteca Unified youngsters entering sixth through eighth grades.
Students quickly learned how to build a fire on the program off their desktop computer, entering the sequence as provided by Myers.
“It wasn’t that tough if you followed the instructions,” said Davis, who found out about the summer camp via his mother.
The Game Design Camp is only one of the four without a project fee, according to Kathy Ruble, who is the district’s Career Technical Education and ROP coordinator.
That’s because everything is conducted online, she added.
The Engineering Boot camp is scheduled for next week at Manteca High. Cost is $110 which includes materials.
Ditto that for the Flight School 3D session on June 20 through 21 at $60. This particular boot camp – also at MHS – is offered to students entering eighth through 11th grade.
The Summer Astro Camp will be held at the Regional Environmental Studies Center building at the district office, from June 27 through 30. Fee per student is $2.
At Myers’ Game Design Camp, students learn the basic fundamentals, from level design to game mechanics and player psychology.
It’s a condensed version similar to the one he did for youngsters at Woodward Elementary School several months ago, Myers said.
Students there took part in activities such as character sketching, sculpting, and 3D game design.
At the summer session, they quickly learned how to build onto their video program with a castle, adding water, hills and even fire.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Hunter Rose, who will be entering the seventh grade at Joseph Widmer Elementary School.
Sixth-grade student Brysen Ross, who also attends Widmer, agreed.
“Creating a game (so far) is easier than I thought,” he said.
Myers is the Business and Technology Department chairman at LHS. A former computer hardware developer, he made possible the district’s STEM+C – the latter stands for ‘plus Computing’ – for be.next game design plan.
His classes quickly filled up during the past school year. The 2016 STEM Summer Camp session was no different.
“We were filled to the max on that first day,” Myers said.
For more information on the STEM Summer Camps, log on to www.mantecausd.net.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.