Brody Bolton is thankful for the be.next Game Design and Digital Art Academy.
“It has more of what I’m interested in doing,” he said at Wednesday’s inaugural Game and Art Expo at Lathrop High.
Bolton, who is a junior, is interested in video games, from the concept of the program to the art work.
“Brody is so talented – he’s great at problem solving and he’s also very creative,” said Kellie MacKinnon, who is part of this first-year Manteca Unified program as well as Lathrop High’s Art / Photography teacher.
No surprise that Bolton enjoys playing video games. Scott Myers’ Game Design and Digital Art Academy was a perfect fit for him.
Myers is the Business and Technology Department chairman at Lathrop High. He developed the district-wide game design STEM+C – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math plus Computing – workshop, with a full class of 31 students currently enrolled in the MUSD expansion charter school.
It’s under the umbrella of the be.tech Academy of vocational orientated programs designed to help students develop skill sets that can land them jobs directly after high school or move into more advanced career training at vocational schools or other institutes of higher learning.
The be.tech programs have 559 students enrolled including those at auxiliary programs taking place on the Sierra, Manteca, and Weston Ranch high school campuses.
The Game Design and Digital Art Academy students Wednesday had a chance to display their work at the open house event featuring video-game programming and artwork.
Included was the alien monster mask by David Montano and the video program “walk through the city” by the detail-oriented Shikina Tapawan.
Bolton also did an alien mask and an action figure maquette, which is a sculptor’s small preliminary model, featured in his video game. Each of his pieces underwent a similar process of concept drawing to sculpting to programming. He finds a connection when the design goes from an idea to a developed 3D figure.
Students also learned to operate the machinery in the fabrication shop.
Some of the equipment is basic – power sander, skill saw, etc. – while the MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printer and the Centroform vacuum forming machine are high tech.
Myers was pleased with the turnout of this first-ever open house.
It provided a stage for students and teachers – namely, Myers and MacKinnon – involved in the be.next Game and Digital Art Academy.
For more information, log on to www.mantecausd.net/schools/be-tech.