Two male high school students wearing headsets in the virtual reality cave

Summer Workshops

Student working on 3D project at 2014 Summer Workshops

Student creates R2-D2 from Star Wars in 3-D.

In hands-on, high-energy, one-week summer workshops, high school students learn how informatics and computing is shaping our world through innovations in mobile and web applications, interactive media and digital games, and health and medical research.

Expert faculty from the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI provide fun, interactive learning experiences that build students’ technology skill sets and introduce them to career options in BioHealth Informatics and the Human-Centered Computing fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Media Arts and Science.

Who May Attend

The workshops are designed for high school students only—teachers and middle school students may not attend the workshops. Students entering grades 9–12 may attend. Most workshops require no prior experience, but some do. See the workshop descriptions for details.

When and Where

Dates for the 2017 workshops will be announced in the spring.

Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Drop-off is between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
Pick-up is between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Students must bring their own lunches.
Parking is available for an additional fee.

IU School of Informatics and Computing
535 W. Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Each one-week workshop is $229. The price of each workshop includes use of the school’s state-of-the-art computing facilities and media equipment.

$500 College Scholarships

Current high school juniors graduating high school in 2017 who attend a workshop are eligible for a $500 college scholarship upon admittance to the Informatics B.S. program or the Media Arts and Science B.S. program at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. Contact Angela Madden at or 317-274-7380 for more information.

Register and Contact Us

Registration for 2017 will open in the spring.

If you have questions, contact Angela Madden at or 317-274-7380.

Workshop Schedule

The 2017 workshop schedule will be announced in the spring. Below is a list of workshops offered in 2016.

Most workshops require no prior experience, but some do. Read the descriptions for details.

3-D Animation and Visual Effects

Faculty: Zebulun M. Wood, M.S.
Films, games, commercials, visualization technology, printing, virtual reality—all these industries are using 3-D in new, different, and exciting ways. The 3-D and visual effects industry is growing, and you can be the next 3-D creator. You’ll learn to use tools to create 3-D printed art or 3-D video—or both—and you won’t need previous experience with 3-D software. At the end of this course, you’ll leave with your own 3-D creation. Students who take this workshop are welcome to bring their character creations and continue to explore 3-D printing in depth through the week two 3-D Printing workshop.

Big Data Analytics for Translational Biomedical Informatics

Faculty: Xiaowen Liu, Ph.D and Huanmei Wu, Ph.D
There is a strong demand for workers skilled in data analysis, and it’s growing all the time—especially in biomedical informatics and personalized medicine. These high-paying technology jobs need people with big data analytics and data-mining skills. You’ll learn the tools and techniques used by today’s top data scientists and you’ll work on projects from the real world of big data analysis. You’ll gain hands-on experience with data exploring, cleaning, and modeling techniques and you’ll learn how these methods are used in personalized medicine.

3-D Printing

Faculty: Zebulun M. Wood, M.S.
If you can imagine it, you can hold it in your hand! 3-D printing is quickly changing manufacturing industries everywhere. You’ll learn to digitally scan images and to print 3-D models. If you take the 3-D Animation and Visual Effects workshop, you can bring your creations to life here. You’ll also solve cool problems in archaeology, surgery, and dentistry. Students who want an overview of 3-D effects are encouraged to take the week one 3-D Animation and Visual Effects workshop before this workshop.

Code Your Own Instagram

Faculty: Travis Faas, M.S.
Are you curious to know what it takes to build and run Instagram, Snapchat, or Tumblr? You’ll take a tour of all the pieces that make social media sites work, and you’ll learn how to code sites like these. You’ll leave with your own Instagram clone and lots of ideas about how to improve the websites you use every day.

Game Design and Development with the Unreal 4 Engine

Faculty: Mathew A. Powers, M.F.A.
Are you enthralled by XboxOne or Playstation 4 games? Do you have an idea for a gaming world that you want to bring to life? Take advantage of this unique opportunity to become a beginning game developer! Using Unreal 4—the world’s leading gaming engine that was used to create Batman: Arkham Asylum, Gears of War, and the Final Fantasy 7 remake—you’ll learn to create a fully playable, original 3-D world complete with lands, buildings, and all kinds of objects from the world of gaming. You won’t need previous experience.

Learning to Program with Alice

Faculty: Louie Zhu, Ph.D.
Learning to program computers is an adventure—and this workshop makes it clear, fun, and exciting. You’ll learn to program by creating animation for a story and for interactive games in a full-color, 3-D programming environment called Alice. You’ll learn the basic concepts of computer programming, including program algorithms, elements of a computer program, and programming logic. You’ll be able to create your own animated stories and interactive video games to share with your friends and family. You won’t need previous programming experience.

Creature and Character Design—Now with Pokemon

Faculty: Mathew A. Powers, M.F.A.
Do you love creatures and aliens? Do you have a sketchbook full of original creations? Now you can bring them to life through technology! You’ll learn to draw, animate, and create characters to share with your friends and family—and how to use the Spore Creature Engine. To help bring your creations to life, you’ll study myths, legends, biology, and evolution—and how your creatures fit into video games, comic books, movies, and more. You’ll also explore the creation of Pokemon and its worldwide success. You won’t need previous experience.

Gadgets of Virtual Reality

Faculty: Chauncey Frend, M.S.
Have you heard of the Oculus Rift, the CAVE, or the PIPES 4-D device? Researchers at Indiana University use virtual reality (VR) gadgets every day to study complex problems. You’ll be introduced to a wide range of VR gadgets, and you’ll create your own virtual worlds using Oculus Rift and 4-D effects like wind and heat. You don’t need previous experience coding or scripting, but if you have it, you’ll advance those skills. You should be comfortable on a PC and have a basic understanding of 3-D software.

Building Virtual Reality Action Games

Faculty: Travis Faas, M.S.
Ready to build a virtual reality roller coaster ride, skydiving simulator, and a spaceship? You’ll learn to make virtual reality action games that use the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. After you’ve learned how to place and control items, you’ll get to customize the gaming experience in any way you like.

2-D Animation Studio

Faculty: Steven Brown, B.S.
Would you like to create your own cartoon animation studio? The power of social media makes it easier than ever to share your animated stories with audiences. You’ll learn the basics of 2-D digital animation and how to publish your work on the Web. You’ll be drawing your 2-D animations, so it helps to have drawing skills, but it’s not necessary. You’ll learn the principles of animation, frame-by-frame animation, and the basics of animation software like Adobe Flash.

Application of Bioinformatics Methods in Personalized Medicine

Faculty: Sarath Chandra Janga, Ph.D. and Meeta Pradhan, Ph.D.
Learn how biology and computing combine to create new and exciting answers to questions in science and medicine. Today, science and technology capture enormous amounts of biological data, which hold the key to solving life’s biggest puzzles. The genome is essential to a new era of discovery, and you’ll learn to understand a real genome by using computational tools. You’ll also explore what might have gone haywire with the genes in a genome.