EA Experiences | Stanford's Digital Media Academy

Each year, EA School Tours organise field trips for schools to participate in one-week long STEM and tech-related courses facilitated by Digital Media Academy at Stanford University.

One of our most popular activities, STEM camps at Digital Media Academy give school students the opportunity to check out the prestigious university campus and try their hand at subjects such as Electrical Engineering, Arduino Robotics, 3D printing and product design with project-based learning modules.

Here's why you should consider including a Digital Media Academy STEM course on your next school trip with EA School Tours.  

Stanford students at the Digital Media Academy
Students at the Digital Media Academy

What is Digital Media Academy?

Tucked away in the northwest part of Santa Clara Valley, is Stanford University. Stanford is a private research university, and its undergraduate program is one of the top three most selective in the United States by acceptance rate. The university was initially founded in 1885 and consistently ranks as one of the world's best universities. It is also the alma mater of 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts, and many alumni who have gone on to become members of the United States Congress.  

Digital Media Academy was born at Stanford University in 1999 as the Academy for New Media, a program owned and operated by the Academic Technology department at Stanford University. In 2002, Digital Media Academy became a private institution, sponsored by the Stanford University Continuing Studies department.  

These days, Digital Media Academy’s STEM courses provide an opportunity for teachers and students to explore topics like coding, robotics, and music production, all while experiencing college life. Each course is led by the highest-quality instructors to help students build skills and gain the confidence to follow their dreams.

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What makes Digital Media Academy unique?

Designed with 21st-century skills in mind, courses at Digital Media Academy focus on helping students apply broad skills such as creativity, collaboration, and communication to overcome challenges. During a school camp, students are encouraged to work with their peers while exploring different approaches to problem-solving.

Course delivery style

At EA School Tours, we believe a crucial point of difference between Digital Media Academy and other learning courses on offer is the calibre of instructors employed to facilitate the courses. Digital Media Academy instructors are all highly respected tech educators, accomplished artists, and industry professionals who are passionate about working with children and sharing their knowledge.  

The courses are also unique regarding their delivery style. Each workshop is supported by teaching assistants to ensure student-to-staff ratios stay low and that learning is a personalised experience.

Project-based learning

The courses on offer at Digital Media Academy are all project-based meaning students receive a comprehensive learning experience that combines learning fundamental skills and 21st-century skills necessary to thrive in today's world. Project-based learning involves applying real-life context and technology to encourage students to become independent workers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners.

Project-based learning fosters students' different learning styles and enables them to combine their factual knowledge on a subject with 21st-century skills to solve problems. On a STEM course at DMA, students will apply teamwork, problem-solving, research gathering, time management, and use state-of-the-art equipment.  


Real-world application

Stanford's Digital Media Academy courses won't only help students develop 21st-century skills such as teamwork and complex problem-solving, they will also give students the opportunity to work with software programs that will provide them with real-world experience that they can include on their CV.  

For example, the computer programming courses use a variety of real-world programs such as Apple’s Software Development Kit (SDK), Raspberry Pi, Java™ and Javascript™ to teach students techniques for creating code for computers, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and robots.  The film and photography courses will teach students how to use Photoshop, and the game design courses include the same software as Minecraft to help students gain the foundational skills necessary if they are interested in a career in the $22-billion-dollar video game industry.

Courses for every subject and learning objective

One of the best things about Stanford's Digital Media Academy is that the courses on offer apply to almost every subject and learning objective. Regardless of whether you're running a trip for art students or STEM students, the courses on offer at Stanford will expose students to where their subject of interest can take them. For example, art students will understand the vital role art plays in game design and programming.  

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"Made by Girls" - Digital Media Academy's girls-only courses

Digital Media Academy’s "Made by Girls” course is perfect for helping young females exceed in STEM subjects.  Lead by a dynamic group of female role models, Made by Girls is designed to help young women recognise their potential, gain confidence inside and outside the classroom, and encourage them to express their creativity in the realm of science and technology.  

There are two courses on offer for female school groups. Adventure in Wearable Tech and Fashion combines fashion design with electrical engineering to create virtual clothing designs and wearable technology. Adventures in Game Design focuses on mobile game app development and shows girls how to create and build their own mobile games.  Both courses run for five days, over which time girls will work collaboratively under the guidance of an all-female mentor team. Past participants on this course have described it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be missed.  

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