LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - It may have been hot and humid outdoors, but Lock Haven University’s “Penguin Lab” was a cool place to be. The Penguin Lab is an advanced UNIX computer lab served by two powerful servers known as Chilly and Willy, and from June 21 to June 25, it was the site of a workshop on video game creation and graphics. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Sponsored by the LHU Computer Science Department, the game and graphics workshop was designed for beginners with a middle school background in math and science. Programming skills were not required for students to attend.
Participating students were James Anonie, Keri Batschelet, Calandre Crist, Joe Lusk, Cheyenne Myers and Calissa Weatherly, all from Jersey Shore Middle School, and Mitchel Myers from Central Mountain High School. During the five-day workshop, the students learned concepts of graphical programming including sculpting, animation, and game design. They received instruction and guidance from Dr. Krish Pillai, assistant professor of computer science, and teaching assistants Tonia Guilfoy and Alex Haskell.
One of the most popular activities was sculpting on the computer. Joe said, “It was really fun to learn how to sculpt creepy monsters.” Keri and Jimmy both said that sculpting was their “favorite part” of the camp. Callie made special mention of “animations in characters and gaming.”
All of the students were looking forward to the final activity, making an implementing their own games. Mitchel commented, “I like to work on computers and I like video games in general, and I am looking forward to working on my own.”
The entire week was a success. Cheyenne said, “I never thought I was going to go to school during the summer, but I wouldn’t mind if all of them were like this class.” Calissa agreed: “Learning this over the summer was a fun experience.”
The objective of the workshop was to get area students interested in computer science and to promote computer science as a career. Judging from the students’ comments, the workshop met its objective.