Emily Chlan, For The Miami Student

Have you ever dreamed of designing your very own video game?

Miami University’s summer program for teens is offering the opportunity to do just that this summer.

In just a few months, teens will come to Miami to participate in alternative learning opportunities. 

In addition to implementing an innovative game design program, Miami is also offering new courses in the fine arts as well as a civic engagement course, “B the Change U Wish to C”, which is new to Miami as of last summer.

“We want to give teens the chance to learn more about everything Miami has to offer and these residential programs do just that,” Nancy Hoffman, program manager for lifelong learning and educational leadership, said.

According to Hoffman, the content of these courses go deeper into areas that high schools do not typically cover. 

“B the Change U Wish to C” is an example of how courses provide students with more academic content. Claire Wagner, associate director of university communications, finds this course extremely effective.

“This course offers students a service component which gives kids the opportunity to learn while doing good for the community,” Wagner said.

In addition to the new courses, students have the opportunity to select other residential programs. Miami’s youth program offers a variety of program courses including ice hockey camp and “Kids in College 2010,” a course taught through Lifelong Learning. 

The program also gives students a taste of college living where students get the chance to live in Miami’s own residence halls.

“The kids think it is pretty cool to come to the university and not only experience these programs but also get the chance to interact with other students on a campus as well,” Hoffman said.

Much of the motivation behind creating these new programs is the desire to prepare students for college. 

“It is important to expose students to courses and the campus to get them thinking about the future,” Wagner said.

Junior Lauren Sullivan, a strategic communications major, thinks this is a great idea.

“If I had the opportunity to participate in this summer program I would have felt a stronger connection to Miami through the application process,” Sullivan said.

In terms of the new courses being offered, Hoffman said the Academy for Game Design, a course that provides students with the opportunity to build actual 3-D video games, may be among the most popular courses this summer.

“This course will be very popular among this generation of teenagers who are very interested in the gaming programs,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman also feels Miami’s fine arts courses, which include Jazz Camp, Theater Summer Experience and Art Portfolio Summer Studio, will strike great interest. 

“The arts programs will challenge students and give them an opportunity to explore courses taught by nationally renowned faculty members,” Hoffman said.

More information can be found at http://www.units.muohio.edu/lifelonglearning/kids or by calling (513) 529-8604.