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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Camp Arch gives high school students hands-on experience

Photo provided

For high school students who are beginning to consider college, the College of Architecture is hosting a weeklong camp to immerse students into one of four disciplines — architecture, visualization, landscape and urban planning, and construction science — offered within the college.
Camp Arch, a program that began on Sunday, exposes high school students to specific majors through a studio-based learning environment, while giving them the opportunity to live on campus temporarily.
Students are able to understand the possibilities of their major, said Emily Oswald, a first-year visualization graduate student who is a studio leader for Camp Arch.
“Campers who eventually decide they want to pursue a degree similar to the options we offer at camp will be more prepared for the demands these kinds of majors will place on them, as well as an idea of the projects they’re likely to encounter in their first year,” Oswald said.
Geoff Dunn, Class of 2014 and studio leader for Camp Arch, said the camp introduces students through hands-on experience rather than just presentations.
From creating a story, to development through storyboards, visually telling that story and compositing it together, students will learn the processes of the fields in-depth and experience the teamwork necessary for a project to be successful, Dunn said.
“My goal is to teach them some of the basics about visualization, getting their feet wet, while keeping it manageable and hopefully fun,” Dunn said. “This camp allows the students to get a feel for what the major really is about and provides them with some knowledge to decide if it is the path they would like to choose.”
Oswald said students in the visualization field will be introduced to an animation technique called “stop motion,” which uses a series of photographs of physically-manipulated objects strung together to form a video, which makes the object look like it is moving by itself.
Movies like Paranorman, Nightmare Before Christmas, and even Star Wars have all used this form of animation, Oswald said.
Oswald said once accepted, the students can expect challenging and eye-opening experiences through the camp. Oswald said when she began the visualization program at A&M, she wasn’t sure what “studio” would look like, or what kinds of assignments were to be expected.
“Studio isn’t like a history class, it requires creative thought and a lot of time spent making things, rather than studying out of a book,” Oswald said. “The camp includes both drawing and studio classes, which are basic requirements of any viz student, and will expose them to how these types of classes will work when they start college.”
Oswald said the camp will allow students to see the amount of time that is often invested in project-based work, but also show how having an overall vision can be rewarding.
“Our work can be hard, and sometimes incredibly time consuming, but it’s amazing to see a final project come together,” Oswald said.
Dunn said that if he could, he would have students walk away from the camp learning a lesson of hard work and the feelings of success.
“Hopefully, the students will realize that college isn’t too daunting but it does require a lot of work,” Dunn said. “We want them to feel successful and proud of what they have accomplished in a week.”

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