On Saturday, August 1, 2015, a group of 13 students from the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science in Singapore touched down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington state. For the next two weeks, this mix of Year 3, Year 4 and Year 6 students would study artificial intelligence, 3D graphics, and mobile application development at DigiPen’s Redmond campus, where they each took part in a ProjectFUN summer workshop.
For this programme, NUS High School selects students with the right passion and aptitude in computing. Each student received special permission from the school’s principal to attend the workshops during their regularly scheduled term time.
We spoke with three students from the group — Jing Rong, Jacob, and Dylan — each of whom attended the Game Programming Level 3: 3D Graphics teen workshop. The students spent two weeks learning code, rigging cameras, and adjusting physics settings to build their own 3D game projects.
Jing Rong, 18, is a Year 6 student at NUS High School, and plans to study technology after she graduates. “I’m actually thinking about going to a really tough university in computer science or computer engineering,” Jing says. “I’m thinking of coming to the US, but haven’t applied yet.”
Jacob, 15, is currently in Year 3 at NUS High School. He’s interested in software engineering and was glad to have the opportunity to attend a ProjectFUN workshop where he could learn more about 3D simulations and graphics. “I’ve worked previously with game engines,” says Jacob, “but never coded a game from scratch.”
Dylan is also 15 years old and a Year 3 student. He particularly enjoyed the math portions of the workshop and hopes to pursue an occupation in math research.
In addition to their studies, all 13 visiting students got to check out some sights around the Redmond area on the weekends, including the EMP Museum in Seattle and KeyArena, where the fifth annual The International (“TI5”) DOTA 2 Championship was being held. “We went to take photos at the TI5 finals,” Jing Rong said, laughing.
Asked if they were looking forward to getting back home, each student quickly responded in the negative. “It’s been a lot of fun,” said Jacob.