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Town partners with RPI for summer programs

The Town of Clifton Park is partnering with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education (CIPCE)this summer to host a LEGO Robotics Engineering Academy and an Animation/Gaming Academy at Town Hall in August.

To compete and succeed in the new global economy, upstate New York needs a tech savvy, 21st Century workforce, Councilman Scott Hughes said in a statement. "Our partnership with RPI in support of the robotics and animation academies will offer local students world class training in cutting‐edge science and engineering applications."

The LEGO Robotics Academy is open to anyone ages 11 to 14. The two-week program runs Monday through Friday, August 9 to 13 and August 16 to 20, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Registration for the two-week academy is $350.

The academy will provide an opportunity for students to merge their creative interest in LEGO TECHNIC building elements with their technological lifestyles, according to information from the town. Students will leave with an understanding of the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science and technology and will use an iconic programming language called ROBOLAB.

The Animation and Gaming Academy is open to anyone ages 8 to 10. The one-week program will run in two sessions. The first session will be held on Monday, August 9, through Friday, August 13, and the second session will be held on Monday, August 16, through Friday, August 20. Both sessions will cover the same material. Registration for each one-week session is $200.

This academy will explore several aspects of video gaming and computer programming and students will have a chance to create a variety of digital media and will spend time exploring how to make animations, music videos and video games, and how to create their own cartoon characters and animate photographs.

"The staff of Rensselaer's Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education believes that a 21st Century education for young people would be remiss if it did not include compelling, interactive technologies," said Lester Rubenfeld, professor of Mathematical Sciences and director of the Center for Initiatives in Pre-College Education. "It is in this context that we are offering to the youth of the Clifton Park community an opportunity to learn the basics of animation and robotics."

This is the first time that RPI's CIPCE is offering the Animation and Gaming Academy in the community. For more information on either of the academies, call the Office of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs at 371-6667.

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