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Local Students Selected for EA Orlando’s ‘Get in the Game’ STEAM Camp

Sixteen high school students will experience the power of play and learn more about how they can shape the future of the video gaming industry from July 17th-21st at Electronic Arts (EA) Orlando’s “Get in the Game” STEAM Camp. The program is designed for young women and non-binary students, and equips them with coding skills and real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

EA Orlando will welcome its fourth cohort of “Get in the Game” students to its studio in Creative Village downtown for five days jam-packed with computer science lessons, hands-on problem solving, and inspirational presentations designed to unlock their potential.

Launched in 2018 as an initiative to unlock the potential of untapped technological talent and diversify the workforce pipeline in an industry where women and non-binary technology professionals are largely underrepresented, the program has proven itself as a model for growing gaming and technology industry talent. Five past participants have secured internships at EA Orlando, with one recently starting a full-time position.

After a successful return to in-person programming last summer, this year’s “Get in the Game” program attracted 57 students representing 22 different Central Florida high schools.

This year’s cohort includes 16 rising juniors and seniors from Citrus, Orange and Seminole County Public Schools, as well as a private school in Apopka. Students were selected through an application process that considered their coding experience, passion for video games, desire to pursue a career in technology and teacher recommendation. This year’s cohort members include:

  • Amelia Amoruso, Lake Brantley High School
  • Karina Ann, Freedom High School
  • Kasaa Birch, Lake Brantley High School
  • Veronica Bosch, University High School
  • Carmen Gloria George-Santiago, Citrus High School
  • Anjani Hansalia, Lake Brantley High School
  • Gabrielle Hawk, Oviedo High School
  • Elena “Gray” Jaho, Lake Brantley High School
  • Giada Jean-Francois, Forest Lake Academy
  • Sarah Kirk, Windermere High School
  • Alina Kobzeva, Lake Brantley High School
  • Lasya Namilae, Seminole High School
  • Olivia Pereira, Lake Brantley High School
  • Madalyn Propst, Lake Brantley High School
  • Alexis Sapp, Evans High School
  • Estefany Torres, Winter Springs High School

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the next ‘Get in the Game’ cohort to our studio this summer,” said Jocel Thornhill, Director of Operations and Program Management at EA Tiburon. “We received a substantial increase in applications this year which is a very promising sign that we’re making a difference. We hope to continue building a more diverse talent pipeline through this program and our other community outreach initiatives that support careers in STEAM.”

Participants in the free, weeklong program will enhance their coding skills and receive instruction from technology experts and hands-on video game development, enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at EA’s world-class technology and tools, and receive coaching and mentorship from the software engineers and artists credited on iconic games such as EA SPORTS™ Madden NFL and the newly released EA™ SPORTS PGA TOUR™. As part of the learning process, students will also be split into groups and work together to create their own video game as a team to present to EA employees, family members, teachers, school administrators, community leaders and more on the final day of the camp.

Ron Weaver, technical design director at the University of Central Florida’s globally recognized interactive entertainment graduate school, Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA), will return for the second year in a row to lead coding instruction for the students.

After a brief pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EA will also re-launch its alumnae programming for previous “Get in the Game” participants, which helps the digital interactive entertainment company stay in touch with students and provide them with continued opportunities to grow in the STEAM field. Members of the 2022 cohort will be welcomed back to the studio July 20th for “Get in the Game Alumnae Day,” which will include programming on professional development topics like resume building, finding a mentor, job shadowing, securing an internship and more.

“Participating in the 2022 ‘Get in the Game’ STEAM Camp opened my eyes to the different teams and communities working together to develop video games,” said 2022 cohort member Hannah Rajan, who will be returning for Alumnae Day. “I especially loved creating a project in Unity with my peers using the skills we learned throughout the week. I’m so excited to interact with the new cohort, make new connections, and, above all, have fun while learning more about STEAM’s real-life applications!”

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