By Leo Lutero | PSFK
While 3D printing can still seem too complicated to the average consumer, 6-year-old kids may now be hitting “Print” on the perfect sippy cup prototype. The Pixel Academy, technically a free-to-explore high tech laboratory for kids, believes its nice to start them 3D printing young by hosting week-long printing camps. These camps don’t just teach 3D printing, kids actually get to design and print out projects.
An obvious question in the Academy’s FAQs is if they really do teach six-year-olds about 3D printing and video game creating to which the reply is a confident “We can and we do!” Andy An, thedesign director of the Pixel Academy, proudly shares his student’s outputs through his Tumblr (which invalidates any skepticism about young people’s learning potential).
However, 3D printing is just a part of Camp Pixel. Other activities that kids and teens may choose from include 3D stop-motion animation, video game design and coding, Minecraft modding, and digital sound design.
Pixel Academy introduces itself as a drop-in after-school learning space. Pixel has numerous expert Instructors available to help on-site and to guide the kids through their own projects. If the kids choose, they can also join in on one or more of the numerous workshops held per day which is a more guided approach to the different offerings of the Pixel Academy.
From their website:
Our philosophy is to let kids come when they want and learn what they want. Everything we offer is educational and entertaining so they get to be the masters of their future. They can pick up a guitar on Monday, or make a video game on Friday.
The kids and teens are called “members” and are given QR code dog tags upon membership to track their entry and exit from the facility. The QR code also links to their profile on Pixel Academy which in turn, makes use of a Pixel point reward system. Everyday a kid enters the Academy, he or she earns a point. Joining workshops and completing workshops will also rake in more points. The Pixel Academy is perfect for children to teenagers aged 7 and up. According to the establishment, the wide variety in age among the kids allows them to break down the social barrier, promote creativity and interaction amongst children.
Pixel Academy lets children use up-to-date technologies like 3D printers, the Oculus Rift kit and Macbooks pre-loaded with powerful software. For members, a day at the Pixel Academy will cost $35 and $45 for visitors. This already includes workshops, use of all available equipments and help from the onsite experts.
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