NSTA Convention Field Trip: Glimpse into the Future

Last week I was at the 2011 National Science Teacher Association Convention, held in downtown Seattle at the Washington State Convention Center.  My first day at the convention I was able to sign up for one of their field trips: A Glimpse into the Future.

This field trip caught my eye because half of it took place at Digipen, both a high school and college in Redmond that specializes in video game development.  Digipen did not disappoint me.  We got a full tour and were able to take a class of our choosing either 3D animation or programming.  Being a film and TV guy I chose to take the animation course.  We were given a pre-made elephant and were set with the task of making it walk.  The instructor did a great job of taking us through 3D Studio Max and we gave a our elephant a skeleton and had him walking by the end of the 45 minute session.  After the class we all got a tour school.  I was impressed with the technology in available to the students, especially the at the high school level.  All the students looked happy and engaged in what they were working on!  We finished off a great visit with a free lunMicrosoftch at their cafeteria. Free lunches are always a good thing to end on.

From Digipen we headed over to Microsoft.  Since I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement I can specifically talk about everything I saw but I can say that I felt more like I was being sold a product than I was being treated to a behind the scenes show.  I also wasn’t too impressed with the Kinect product we were demoing, they felt pretty worthless both in terms of education and entertainment.

In the end, I had a great Digipen experience and my time at Microsoft was good in telling me which products to skip when they’re released.

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