Skip to main content
Main Penn College Website

Fun, Career Exploration Blend in College’s First ‘Digital’ Camp


Thirty high school students took part in “‘Designing a Digital Future’ Career Camp,” presented for the first time over the summer by Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Business and Computer Technologies.

The two-day camp – the buzz from which makes it likely as an annual event – was designed to demonstrate an evolving assortment of platforms on which interactive games, websites and other digital-media products can be experienced.

“With websites and gaming appearing on everything from computers and TVs to mobile devices, the chances to experience interactive content seem endless,” said Edward A. Henninger, Penn College’s dean of business and computer technologies. “Our goals with the ‘Digital Future’ camp were to offer an entertaining and lively learning experience for high school students and expose them to an applied approach to digital-media education and career exploration. Thanks to our dedicated faculty, cutting-edge technology and an eager group of young adults, we feel we accomplished both.”

Participants gather for a closing video-game competition at Pennsylvania College of Technology during the “‘Designing a Digital Future’ Career Camp.”
Participants gather for a closing video-game competition at Pennsylvania College of Technology during the “‘Designing a Digital Future’ Career Camp.”

Brian D. Walton, the school’s matriculation and retention coordinator, added: “It was great to see how much these students enjoyed two pretty intensive days of learning. Our faculty covered a lot of material in a short period of time, and they truly showed that they can make learning fun.” (Photo gallery)

Rotating between the school’s new computing labs for financial markets investment and web and interactive media, the students – all of whom are entering grades 10-12 this fall – explored digital-media professions ranging from web design to computer-game design, programming and simulation.

“I think the camp went really well. Most of the students walked away learning a great deal. They got a nice taste of the college experience, eating and sleeping on campus, professors teaching classes, etc.,” said Matthew E. Mooney, assistant professor of web/interactive media. “I wish I had this type of opportunity when I was their age.”

Using lessons gained from five Penn College faculty members during eight hands-on workshops in two days, the campers created fully functional video games and designed Web pages and mobile applications.

“The Digital Camp was a great experience for both the students and the faculty who participated,” said John J. Messer, assistant professor of web/interactive media. “The students arrived eager to learn and have fun, and I was impressed with their motivation to do a good job on the personal Android mobile app that they created. With a few exceptions, the students were able to create the app and see it in action on an actual device.

“The faculty made every attempt to treat the students as actual college students. This, paired with their physical on-campus experience, gave them a true picture of what college life will be like. I am looking forward to next summer already!”

Other faculty members sharing their expertise and enthusiasm during the camp were Bahram Golshan and Denise S. Leete, associate professors of computer science;  and Anita R. Girton, assistant professor of computer information technology.

“I had a great time! The campers started with computer games we created together and then extended them,” Girton said. “The resulting games were fun and sometimes very challenging to play.”

In addition to exposing the teenagers to exciting career opportunities, the camp showcased the school’s two newest degrees – gaming and simulation and web and interactive media. Each provides students with hands-on experiences and skills to successfully design, develop and deliver web, gaming and interactive products for applications in business, entertainment, and education.

The students, who spent one night in campus housing, also held dodgeball and video-game tournaments during their stay.

For more information about the School of Business and Computer Technologies’ “degrees that work” in web and interactive media and gaming and simulation, the Alienware gaming and simulation lab opening this fall, or future summer camp plans, call 570-327-4517.

For more about Penn College, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Related Stories

Drawing inspiration from Scandinavian folk art, graphic design student Kaylee N. Masullo, of Bellefonte, says, “I wanted to convey a sense of comfort in home … there is much to appreciate about our homes.” Art & Graphic Design
Ceramic masks reveal students’ pandemic emotions
Read more
Art & Graphic Design
Two art faculty honored as Art of the State finalists
Read more
Jessica L. Tobias, a 2013 graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology, has a clear “picture” of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted professional sports, thanks to her role as creative manager and photographer for FC Dallas, one of 26 teams that comprise Major League Soccer. Art & Graphic Design
Penn College grad gets a ‘kick’ out of her job, despite pandemic
Read more