Nine-year-old Emily Donmoyer has always loved making movies on her iPad. So when her parents heard about Full Sail’s inaugural educational camps launching this summer, they signed her up for a week of instruction focused on filmmaking.
“From day one, she was very excited to attend,” recalls Emily’s mom Jamie. “When she came home that day, she went right to her iPad and started making videos and continuing her experience.”
Operating under the name Full Sail Labs, the camps are open to young innovators ages 7-12, with the aim of providing them with technology and an open environment to collaborate on creative projects. Since June, over 200 young people have participated in the week-long camp sessions, which cover subjects like music, film, gaming, and robotics.
Emily says she’s a better filmmaker since attending Full Sail Labs, mostly due to the new skills she picked up during her time there. “They introduced me to the world of editing,” she says. “We also did a thing called stop motion, where you take a bunch of pictures and move stuff around.”
“My favorite part of the experience was communicating with my friends and shooting the scenes for our movie,” she adds.
Jamie says she noticed a difference in Emily’s work at home. “She’s much more independent in her ability to go from start to finish on a project, and she really seems to have found a comedic voice and storytelling ability in editing together these trailers and videos.”
With just five days to build a project, students budget their time under the guidance of instructors and special guest speakers.
The program takes the concept of acceleration, something that Full Sail is well known for in its collegiate programs, and applies it to programming for kids. This enables the instructors to pack a lot in over the course of the week, without sacrificing quality.
“We’re focusing on storytelling and technology, and putting it all into the framework of these awesome activities,” says instructor and recent Full Sail grad Adam Kuta. “The students bring so much energy, originality, and passion to their projects. I came to Full Sail to follow my own passion in my 20’s, and it’s neat to see how this group of 7-12 year olds is already starting to tap into that.”
Starting August 31st, Full Sail Labs will offer programming for the 2015-2016 school year. From September to May, sessions will run in hour long blocks from 4pm to 5pm and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays. The open curriculum will build on aspects of animation, gaming, robotics, film, music, and more, and allow students to explore creative expression through this variety of mediums. The idea behind the program is that kids would have an ongoing block of time each week to devote to whatever creative project sparks their interest. All of the equipment provided by the program is consumer level, meaning it’s familiar and accessible to kids (and parents) who wish to continue the learning experience at home. Students will learn how to make music on an iPad, for instance, or shoot a short film on a digital camera.
“Our mission is for students to be able to jump right into these projects,” says David Morillo, Community Outreach Manager for the program. “After each session the kids are going to be able to leave with something they’ve created. Then they can choose to go deeper on a project in the following sessions, or create something else.”
“The response from parents and students so far has been phenomenal,” he adds. “The overarching vision of Full Sail Labs has always been to create a year-round program, so it’s going to be really fun.”
To learn more or register for the new after school program, visit FullSailLabs.com