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Digital Animation: A Technology Mentoring Program for Young Women

Digital Animation: A Technology Mentoring Program for Young Women

A two-week summer program
for young women who are currently enrolled
in 7th or 8th grade in central Ohio.

Summer Program Status Update:
Digital Animation: A Technology Mentoring Program for Young Women will no longer be offered as of 2024. 

The U.S. Department of Education, under Title IX, has determined that universities can't offer programs solely for women, despite the ongoing lack of women in STEM fields and the field of computer animation specifically. Programs like ours, aimed at helping women advance, are being called out as discriminatory against men. While Title IX is to be celebrated for all it has achieved, these are the unintended consequences of Title IX.

Thanks to all who have contributed mentorship, support and funding to this program over more than 20 years.  The program site will remain posted as a way of archiving and documenting all that we have achieved together.

Established by Professor Maria Palazzi in 2001, Digital Animation: A Technology Mentoring Program for Young Women is offered by the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD), the arts-based research center in The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences and one of the premiere animation education centers in the world.

This summer experience empowers participants to be the hands-on creators of 3D computer-animated stories and develop confidence in technical skills related to 3D animation, within a supportive and enriching community of artists and designers. Each year the program selects participants based on their applications to work in small collaborative teams, directed by women mentors in a dynamic and focused experience using the latest computer animation technologies. OSU student mentors, in conjunction with OSU faculty, lead the participants through a shared discovery of the world of graphics and animation integrating storytelling strategies, problem-solving skills, collaborative learning and presentation. Participants explore the same high-end software used in movies like Horton Hears a Who!, Kung Fu Panda, and Wall•E!

An average day might look like this:

Time                              Activity
9:00am – Noon            Computer Animation Workshop
Noon – 1:30pm             Lunch (provided) and Discussion
1:30pm – 3:30pm         Team-based Story Development and Storyboarding
4:00pm                          End of day

A ceremony is held on the last day to celebrate the students’ accomplishments and to display the collaborative team projects to students’ families, guests and the community.


Students collaborating around a table.


Collaborative work completed by students from each of the previous years the program was held.

View Projects

OSU students who participated as mentors in past programs.



Program Director: Professor Maria Palazzi

email: ASC-ACCAD-womenandtech@osu.edu

phone: 614-292-2406