Electronic Arts helps students learn and grow

Joelle Wittig, News Editor

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This past summer, Electronic Arts (EA), a well-known video game company, offered a five day “Get in the Game” workshop with the goal of getting upper level high school girls interested in the video game industry. Ten seniors and juniors in computer science classes from Seminole and Orange County attended this all-expense-paid camp for an exclusive hands-on experience.

“I loved going on a tour of the office,” junior Tuval Basher said. “They had a ball pit and cereal bars on every floor, and so many other cool features that make working there seem so fun. It was also so cool to hear about a typical work day at EA from the people who work in all the different departments.”

At the camp, on July 9, the students were put into groups of three or four. In these groups, students worked together to code and create an original computer game. With help from EA mentors, AP Computer Science teacher Seth Reichelson, and resources found in Greenfoot textbooks, these students had the guidance needed to complete the task at hand.

“My main job was to be awesome,” Reichelson said. “We wanted something that they [the students] learned in high school so they could apply it to something fun instead of just doing it for the AP test. EA Sports is a program for fun.”

The students attended presentations that were given daily by speakers who work in a variety of EA fields. On Friday, July 13, the participants attended a showcase where each group of students presented the video game they had worked on throughout the week.

I was a mentor and I gave two presentations,” EA Software Engineer Katherine Winter said. “[I enjoyed] the enthusiasm of the participates. I loved hearing their questions.

EA hopes that through educating teenage girls about the effort that goes into creating games, they will widen the gender diversity gap in the male dominated profession. According to USA Today, the number of women in computer science declined from 35% to 18% between 1985 and 2014. By empowering women at an early age, they can return to companies such as EA and create a more female based environment. Each student who attended the workshop is guaranteed an internship interview at EA after graduating high school and completing college courses that pertain to computer science.

“The biggest thing for me is that it helped me to decide what I want to do with my future,” senior Cara Crawford said. “I had always wanted to be an engineer. However, seeing the potential for computer science in the game industry and in general really fostered my love for computers.”

What is your favorite EA sports video game?

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