Summer Camps for Teens

High school students smiling and laughing as they play an original video game created during SDCT's Summer Design Camp for teens

Summer Design Camps for Teens

Registration for Summer 2024 Design Camps is open!

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Learn Design Skills at UT Austin

Get ready for another summer of fun and creativity with the School of Design and Creative Technologies! Designed and taught by UT Austin faculty, these courses will allow students from 8th grade through high school to get hands-on experience in a college classroom.

These fun, skill-building camps provide students with exposure to new software programs, a chance to explore interests before declaring a major, and an opportunity to build a portfolio piece as they prepare for college applications. For additional details, please see each camp listing below.

Summer 2024 Design Camp Offerings

The University of Texas Summer 2024 Camp Making Physical Products for the Real World

Making Physical Products for the Real World

Faculty: José Perez 
Dates: June 3–7, 2024 
Price: $750 (includes materials)
Location: DFA 4.112 on UT Campus

Have you ever wondered how your watch, game controller, or cell phone was designed? 

Do you have your own ideas for products but aren’t sure how to create them? In this camp, you’ll learn the skills and tools to bring those ideas to life! Whether you're a budding product designer or simply enjoy putting pen to paper, this camp is your chance to explore your maker talents with guidance from a seasoned professional. Dive into interactive workshops, receive personalized instruction, and get a taste of the tools the pros use to turn your imaginative ideas into reality. We'll blend traditional sketching methods, with physical prototypes that will bring your ideas to life.

Register for Physical Products
The University of Texas Summer Camps Intro to 2D Video Game Design

Intro to 2D Video Game Design* 

Faculty: Andrew Augustin 
Dates: June 3–7, 2024 
Price: $700
Location: DFA 3.128 on UT Campus

Do you love playing games? Do you have new ideas for how games could work? 

Dive into the essentials of crafting engaging video games, focusing on storytelling, character development, gameplay mechanics, and the gaming environment. You'll create unique concepts that stand out in the gaming world. Craft a detailed game concept document throughout the week which will serve as the blueprint for your future game prototypes. Ideal for those dreaming of bringing new gaming worlds to life, this camp lays the groundwork for the exciting stages of game development, helping you turn your gaming dreams into reality!

Register for Intro to 2D
The University of Texas Summer 2024 Camp Design for Change

Design for Change

Faculty: Vic Rodriguez Tang 
Dates: June 3–7, 2024 
Price: $750
Location: Design Mac Lab on UT Campus

Want to create change in your community? Learn the visual communication skills to design and advocate for the causes you care about. 

This camp approaches design through the lens of social change. Throughout the week, you will work on various exercises, workshops, and projects to question, critique, and generate new ways of thinking about the most pressing issues of our day. You will research contemporary social topics, define an area of opportunity, and explore design opportunities that respond ethically to these issues or challenges, putting theory into practice.

Register for Design for Change
The University of Texas Summer 2024 Camp The Magic of Immersive Technology

The Magic of Immersive Technology

Faculty: Kyle Evans 
Dates: June 10–14, 2024 
Price: $800
Location: LIM Lab on UT Campus

Do you enjoy theme parks? Do you want to create experiences that feel magical? 

This unique and exciting camp experience will take you on a journey into the realms of light, sound, and visuals. Immerse yourself in a captivating blend of technology and artistic expression as we explore the magic of motion capture systems, lighting design, and video projection. The best part? We'll all work together to create a super cool immersive art experience that combines motion, sound, and light. Get ready for a week of creativity and tech magic!

Register for Immersive Tech
The University of Texas Summer 2024 Camp Build Your Own 2D Video Game

Build Your Own 2D Video Game*

Faculty: Andrew Augustin 
Dates: June 10–14, 2024
Price: $700
Location: DFA 3.128 on UT Campus

Have ideas for your own video games but not sure how to start the process of bringing them to life? 

We'll teach you the practical skills to make working prototypes of your games, covering basics like programming, level design, user interface design, and testing methods. You'll be encouraged to experiment and improve your prototypes, learning how to turn your ideas into playable games. This hands-on course is super important for understanding the technical side of game development and gives you valuable insights into the game design process.

Register for Build Your Own 2D
The University of Texas Summer 2024 Camp Create Your Personal Brand

Create Your Personal Brand

Faculty: Vic Rodriguez Tang  
Dates: June 10–14, 2024  
Price: $700 
Location: Design Mac Lab on UT Campus

Want to develop your own personal brand but not sure where to start? 

Join us for a week of exploring branding, where we'll dive into logo design and more! In this camp, you'll learn the art of crafting logos to build a meaningful identity for yourself. We'll cover the basics of brand research, coming up with ideas, setting guidelines, creating branding systems, and making mockups. Plus, you'll discover how to use a creative process that fits your style and can be adjusted for different projects, so you can complete any design from start to finish. Get ready to make your mark in the world of branding!

Register for Personal Brand
The University of Texas Summer 2024 Camp Graphic Design for the Music Industry

Graphic Design for the Music Industry

Faculty: Vic Rodriguez Tang
Dates: June 17–21, 2024
Price: $750
Location: Design Mac Lab on UT Campus

Do you have a cool idea for your favorite band’s album cover? Do you wish you could create merch for their upcoming tour? 

Get a taste of what it’s like to work as a visual designer in the music industry through exercises and workshops that test your imagination, problem-solving skills, and maybe even your taste in music. You will create designs for album covers, concert posters, merchandise, and more. You’ll dive into design campaigns, brainstorming strategies, and presentation design. Get ready for a week of unleashing your creativity and rocking those design skills!

Register for Music Industry
The University of Texas Summer 2024 Camp Art and Animation for 2D Games

Art and Animation for 2D Games*

Faculty: Andrew Augustin  
Dates: June 17–21, 2024 
Price: $700 
Location: DFA 3.128 on UT Campus

Have you ever wanted to create characters or unique landscapes for a video game in your artistic style? 

Get ready for the ultimate course in our series* all about the art and animation side of making 2D games! In this camp, you'll discover how to design and bring to life the visual elements of your game prototypes. We'll dive into character design, background art, creating sprites, and basic animation techniques. Throughout the course, we'll explore various artistic styles and techniques, so you can pick and develop your own unique look for your games. You'll get hands-on experience by applying your art and animations directly to the game prototypes you worked on in the previous course. If you're excited about making your game concepts pop with awesome visuals, this course is just what you need!

Register for Art and Animation

*Note about 2D Games Series

Each course is made so you can take it on its own or as part of the full sequence, giving you the choice to focus on a specific part of game development or get a well-rounded experience in everything. By the end of this series, you won't just know the theory — you'll also have hands-on experience designing, prototyping, and bringing your 2D video games to life. This way of learning is extra helpful if you're dreaming of making a splash in the games and animation industry. It gives you the skills and know-how to turn your creative ideas into games you can actually play.


Pricing & Discounts

Camp prices range from $700–$800. Please see above for specific camp pricing.

Register early to take advantage of these discounts:

  • $50 off through the end of March (Early Bird)
  • $100 off (total) when you register for 2 camps
  • $200 off (total) when you register for 3 camps

Multi-camp discounts can be combined with Early Bird discounts. Discounts will be automatically applied at checkout. 

After-Camp Hours: 

Does your camper need to stay after camp ends for the day? We offer an add-on option for $100 per camp for students to remain supervised on campus until 5pm. Students can use this open time to continue working on projects or socialize.

Scholarships

Scholarship information for Summer 2024 camps will be available soon.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are accommodations available on campus?

We are not able to offer on-campus accommodations for camp attendees. For those who are not local to Austin, we recommend looking into nearby hotels or Vrbo options.

Do I need to bring my own laptop?

No, all camps requiring computers are held in our PC or Mac computer labs.

Am I allowed to leave campus for lunch?

Camp attendees are not allowed to go off-campus for lunch. Please plan to pack a lunch each day or have lunch delivered.

What is After-Camp Hours?

After-Camp Hours is an optional $100 add-on for those who need to stay through 5pm. Campers will remain supervised on campus with our TAs and can use this open time to continue work on projects or socialize. There are no official lessons or work assigned during this period, but the camp TAs may organize some games and social activities if there is interest.

Are multi-camp discounts available for any camp registrations?

Yes! The 2D Game Design camp series is a great option if you are looking for multiple camps, but you can get a discount by signing up for any two or three camps that we offer.

Are scholarships available to cover the cost of tuition?

Yes, we have a small number of need-based scholarships available for students to attend camp. Criteria for scholarship determination is Free/Reduced Lunch or Texas Medicaid status.

Please fill out this form if you qualify. We will start awarding scholarships on or after May 1.

Do I have to attend all of the 2D game camps in order?

The 2D game camps are designed to be taken individually or in a sequence. If you take all three, you will be able to fully design and develop a game from scratch! Students of all skill levels are encouraged to attend.

Will there be a final showcase of work at the end of each camp?

Yes! Students and their invited guests are welcome to attend a showcase presentation during the Friday afternoon of each camp. More details about each camp presentation will be sent via email.

What happens if I get sick? Can I get a refund?

We are not able to offer refunds for illness except in the event of a medical emergency with a doctor’s note.

Summer Design Camp Director Jessie Contour introducing projects during the Summer 2022 Game Design Camp Showcase

Meet Camp Director Jessie Contour

Assistant Professor of Arts and Entertainment Technologies

Read Story

Past Camp Student Work

2021 Game Design Summer Camp Reel

2021 Animation & Motion Summer Camp Reel

2020 Animation & Motion Summer Camp Reel

2020 Game Design Summer Camp Showcase

screenshot of gameplay scene from original game Mercenary