Courses allow you to dive deeply into subjects that you are passionate about or are considering as studies in college or potential careers. Enroll in a single course or choose from one in the morning and one in the afternoon for a full day experience.
Morning Session (9 a.m. to noon)
- Animation Studio (FNMS 264)
- Innovation in Business and Entrepreneurship (MGMT 101)
Afternoon session (1 to 4 p.m.)
- Drawing Studio (ART 116)
- Innovation through Digital Fabrication (DES 198)
Each course comes with a co-course suggestion for students wanting an immersive experience in the subject. However, in keeping with Wheaton’s emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, you are free to combine any areas of interest.
Animation Studio, FNMS 264
Instructor: Karen Knighton
In this studio-based class, students are introduced to the essentials of hand-drawn 2D animation which focuses on understanding the mechanics of movement and communication through ‘drawn acting’. Emphasis is placed on learning through process, demonstrations, viewing and discussion of related animated films, and hands-on assignments. Students learn animation principles and design fundamentals along with software basics. Class projects center around learning how to identify individual components of movement and connecting those to the principles of animation. This class requires lots of drawing leading to more believable characters and scenarios and all skill levels are welcome.
Students explore the fundamental principles of animation through intensive weekly hand-drawn assignments – all assignments will be completed using Photoshop and graphics tablets. This course offers resources and research opportunities through the course portal, allowing class time to be dedicated to creating work. Information is provided to help students understand careers in animation and industry standards. Students successfully completing this course develop their own reel for potential use in college applications or career options. Content learned in this course can be applied to 2D & 3D animation, motion graphics, and game design.
Schedule: The class will meet from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The animation studio will be available to students for work on projects outside of class on Fridays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Requirements: No prerequisites, previous drawing experience or knowledge of digital tools such as Photoshop is required. This course is open to students of all skill levels from complete beginner to advanced.
Equipment: Students will be utilizing a campus computer lab. For work outside of class students will be shown a variety of options to create their work with limited materials and technology.
Co-Course Suggestion: Students seeking an immersive visual art experience and more expansive growth in their portfolio are encouraged to also enroll in the “Drawing Studio” course.
About the Instructor
Karen Knighton is an artist with a focus on animation, comics, and sequential storytelling. Her interest in animation was formed from the desire to tell stories of stylized characters and invented worlds, and animation was the best medium for the challenge. Animation gives the artist the opportunity to invent their world from scratch; everything from the backgrounds, character design, and color palette, to the style of movement and laws of gravity.
She is currently working on a project that is part drawn animation and part graphic novel; exploring the same story and characters in both mediums. Additionally, she is in the process of developing a Stop-Motion television show for young audiences.
Her animation work has been exhibited worldwide including the Los Angeles Animation Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, Ion Animation Festival, Budi Animation Festival, Robot Revival, and numerous galleries and events. Her comics have been published in The Quarter(ly), Birdbrained Anthology, Meanwhile Anthology, and have been exhibited at Comic-Con, Studio Number One, Alternative Press Expo, and West Side Project. She has also presented at live comics readings with the Sequential Artists Workshop, and 7000 BC Comics.
Karen received her BFA in Film & Media Studies from University of Kansas and her MFA in Experimental Animation, California Institute of the Arts. She currently teaches animation courses at Wheaton College.
Drawing Studio, ART 116
Instructor: Maxime Lefebvre
Drawing is a universal language and a powerful tool of communication, making our thoughts and feelings visible and providing an effective means to investigate the world we live in. In this class, students learn to “see” by engaging in intense observation and visual analysis. We explore the fundamentals of line, shape, value, proportion and perspective through a variety of drawing tools and materials. Working primarily from direct perception, students explore objects, landscape and the human figure.
In a non-competitive, yet rigorous atmosphere, students’ current skills are assessed and supported to ensure individual encouragement and advancement. Assignments allow students to link technical proficiency with conceptual development to create work that is distinctive and unique to their vision. Critique and feedback from the instructor and peers provide students with a supportive, yet challenging environment to learn how to expand work beyond initial concepts and present and speak about their work. Drawing is a foundation skill applicable to many areas of study, including animation, graphic design, illustration, apparel design, 3-D modeling, architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and more. Students who successfully complete this course develop skills for further study in visual art and create work for their portfolio.
Schedule: The class will meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The drawing studio will be available to students for work on projects outside of class on Fridays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Requirements: This course is open to students of all skill levels from complete beginner to advanced.
Equipment/Materials: Students will receive a supply list of required materials approximately two weeks prior to the start of class.
Co-Course Suggestion: Students seeking an immersive visual art experience and more expansive growth in their portfolio are encouraged to also enroll in the “Animation Studio” course which allows you to learn how to create drawings in motion.
About the Instructor
Maxime Jean Lefebvre is an interdisciplinary artist who works mainly in print and ceramics. His work explores the tension between history and systems of power, and is informed by his experience as a foreigner in America.
Born and raised in France, Maxime has been living in the US since 2017, in Providence RI. He holds an MFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and a DNAP (Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts) from the École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Bourges.
Maxime serves as Visiting Assistant Professor at Wheaton College where he teaches Three-Dimensional Design. Additionally, he is a Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), in the Experimental and Foundation Studies and Printmaking departments, where he teaches drawing and experimental printmaking techniques. Previous teaching appointments include Visiting Artist and Lecturer in the Ceramic department at RISD, and the Visual Art department at Roger Williams University. Maxime was a Merit Fellow at the Steel Yard for two years and his work has been shown nationally and internationally, most notably at the RISD museum and the Newport Art Museum. His first solo show, In Plain Sight, opened last Fall in Providence.
Innovation in Business and Entrepreneurship, MGMT 101
Instructor: Kristina Piasecki
This course introduces students to how a business is created from developing a product concept to finding your audience and implementing the best marketing strategies. Students learn essential business management activities critical to an organization’s success, as well as how to turn failures into opportunities. Through experiential exercises students will explore the current global marketplace, ethical issues and social responsibility to your workforce, stakeholders and the environment. Discussions and examples of finance and accounting as they relate to business and understanding the factors which impact decision-making will be covered.
Through a series of class projects students create their own unique business service or product idea, learn the critical skills associated with communicating clearly, the business, as well as the production and collaborative networking needed to bring it to market. Students come away with a clear understanding of how a business operates, why their business matters and how to start to create a business plan. Note: Students who also enroll in the “Innovation through Digital Fabrication” course will develop actual prototypes through the lab’s facilities. Enrollment in digital fabrication is not a requirement of the class.
Schedule: The class will meet from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Monday through Thursday. The business design studio will be available to students for work on projects outside of classon Fridays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Requirements: No prerequisites required. Students can come to the course with a current business concept or develop one through the course.
Credit: Students successfully completing this course will receive credit for Introduction to Business, MGMT 101 on their transcripts.
Equipment: Laptop Preferred. (See Tech Equipment Guidelines)
Co-Course Suggestion: Students seeking an immersive business experience and more expansive growth in their business portfolio are encouraged to also enroll in the “Innovation through Digital Fabrication” course where they will be given a series of projects to create related to this course.
About the Instructor
Kristina Piasecki is an Instructor of Business and Management at Wheaton College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at the University of Rhode Island in 2005, a Graduate Certificate degree in Accounting at Bridgewater State University in 2007, and a Master of Professional Accountancy degree at Bryant University in 2008. Kristina has worked in public accounting since 2006, first exclusively in taxation for a local accounting firm near her home in Attleboro, Massachusetts. In 2011, she moved to a mid-size CPA firm in the Boston area, eventually being promoted to a managerial role in the accounting and audit department. In 2016, she passed the CPA exam and received her license as a Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to teaching at Wheaton, Kristina currently practices as a CPA and tax advisor on her own for a number of small business clients.
Innovation Through Digital Fabrication, DES 198
Instructor: Brandon Witter
Technologies like 3D printing are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to analyzing how digital fabrication is transforming our world. This fast-paced multidisciplinary course provides a high-level exploration of additive and subtractive manufacturing tools and applications. Students are exposed to a world of possibilities through the introduction of 2D and 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and an understanding of when to use Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software to control specific machines.
Through engaging hands-on projects, participants learn how to navigate Wheaton’s network of labs to bring their digital designs to life. Starting with an introduction of Arduino and circuitry, students learn the basics of building an electronic game, and then move on to creating 2D designs through laser-cutting, generating a prototype utilizing 3D printing and exploring the graphic possibilities of vinyl cutting. Investigations of a variety of materials and their applications help students strengthen their design concepts and outcomes. Regular group and individual project critique allow students to learn how to problem-solve, expand their ideas and present their work. Students who successfully complete this course come away with a personal portfolio of objects and designs along with the documentation evidencing their process.
Schedule: The class will meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The Digital Fabrication lab will be available to students to work on projects outside of class on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Requirements: No prerequisites or computer knowledge required. This course is open to students of all skill levels from complete beginner to advanced. Students will be introduced to all safety related practices in order to access and utilize the equipment.
Equipment: Students are encouraged to bring their own personal laptop. The lab has up to 10 laptops and 3 desktops for student use during class. Chromebooks are acceptable, but Windows and Macs are preferred. Tablets, iPads, and other mobile devices are not sufficient for this course.
Co-Course Suggestion: Students seeking an immersive business experience and more expansive growth in their business portfolio are encouraged to also enroll in the “Innovation in Business and Entrepreneurship course”. Students enrolled in both courses will be given a series of projects specific to the business course.
Note: Priority registration for this course is given to students who are also enrolled in “Innovation in Business and Entrepreneurship”. Due to the limited lab capacity and the popularity of this course a second section (morning session) may be created to accommodate a waitlist of students who are not taking the business course.
About the Instructor
Brandon Witter is the current Coordinator of Innovation Spaces, providing a vital resource of training, information and support in emerging technologies to the Wheaton College community. He collaborates with faculty and students on methods and strategies in accessibility to technology-based practices, as well as innovation in experiential education. Brandon also serves as the Instructor for the Wheaton course, Introduction to Digital Fabrication, as well as the site Instructor for Fab Academy (global course led by Neil Gershenfeld, MIT).
Brandon provides workshops in computer science, digital design, fabrication and interaction design. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science degree, Wheaton College and Digital Fabrication Certification, Fab Foundation. Brandon’s passion is all things digital making with an emphasis on 3D printing and he thrives on sharing his knowledge with future generations of Makers.
Take the next step
For Pre-college inquiries, contact:
Wheaton Office of Summer Programming
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