Academy for Java
Programming with

2 weeks • 9am-5pm
Teens • Ages 12-17
Beg – Adv
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Bring Your Favorite Game to the Next Level

Customize blocks, items, weapons and entities. Build custom art and textures and add them to the game.

Real Programming Techniques

Learn the basics of programming and how to use professional development tools to debug and solve problems.

Practice Proper Design Techniques

Discover how to make additions to the game that will make it more fun but won’t break the balance.

Course Overview

Minecraft modding is a great way to get introduced to programming and object-oriented design. Create new blocks and materials, and add custom items and armor. For example, add a new armor set that can give players the ability to fly! Go on to learn how make entities and custom world generators.

Week One: Start off with the basics of Forge: Learn how a mod is organized and constructed. Create a new block and define all of its properties. Customize the item associated with that block, and add recipes to create armor and tools!

Week Two: Dive deeper into Java and learn how make blocks do things like explode, be extra bouncy or become invisible. Add ore generators and entities, and get personal mentorship to help you bring the mod you’ve always been dreaming of to life!

DMA taught me the skills I needed
to create my own mod!

Daniel B., DMA Student

A Well-Balanced Experience

At DMA, we realize that everybody needs time away from technology – especially teens. That’s why, along with lunch, DMA students enjoy personal time each day, when they can hang out and socialize with new friends or take part in a wide range of recreational, team-based and character-building activities.

Course Details

  • Age: 12 – 17
  • Skill Level: Beginning – Advanced
  • Some previous programming experience recommended
  • Software: Minecraft™, Forge and Eclipse™

What You’ll Learn

  • The game design and development process
  • Java™ programming with the Eclipse™ IDE
  • Game-design principles and creative strategies
  • Client-server architecture
  • How to use Forge and CraftBukkit
  • How to use World Edit and other common server plug-ins

What You’ll Create

  • A Minecraft™ mod

Required for this Course

IMPORTANT: Having some programming knowledge is highly recommended.

Skills and Experience


Real-World Skills

  • Computer programming
  • Modifying Java™ Programs

Personal Development

  • Master creative problem-solving skills
  • Understand the benefits of critical thinking

Instruction & Staff


Our average student-to-staff ratio is 7:1 and in some cases, this ratio is even lower. This allows us to individualize lessons, customize the learning experience and offer plenty of personalized, one-on-one time for each student.

Outstanding Teaching Staff

DMA’s Academy instructors include industry professionals, technology educators and talented upper-level university students who have a genuine passion for the subject and a demonstrated skill for teaching, mentoring and inspiring. Learn more about our outstanding teaching staff.

Two-Week Curriculum

In DMA Academies you are immersed in a learning experience that allows for more time to master new skills and apply them to personal projects. Over two weeks your confidence soars as you gain knowledge, critical-thinking abilities and hands-on experience.

Sample Day

Time Activity
7:30 am Enjoy a Healthy & Delicious Breakfast (For All overnight students and Stanford Extended Day Add-on Students)
9:00 am Hands-on Tech Instruction & Creation (Learn & Understand)
10:30 am Outdoor Break & Chill Time (Teen Meet & Greet)
11:00 am Hands-on Tech Instruction & Creation (Application & Guided Practice)
12:00 pm Enjoy Lunch (Meal Provided with Lunch Plan add on & Stanford Extended Day Plan Students Only)
1:00 pm Hands-on Tech Instruction & Creation (Create, Test, Evaluate & Improve)
2:30 pm Outdoor Break & Chill Time (Teen Meet & Greet)
3:00 pm Hands-on Tech Instruction & Creation (Review & Share)
5:00 pm Student Pick-up
6:00 pm Dinner for Overnight Campers and Stanford Extended Day Students Only
7:00 pm Supervised recreational activities include optional gaming tournaments, sports and movie nights. (In some cases, students can continue working on their projects.)
11:00 pm Lights out for overnight campers


Do students need a Minecraft™ account?

A Minecraft account is NOT needed for this class. All playtesting can be done without it. However, in order to use the mods you create in your game you WILL need an active Minecraft account.

What is the advantage of taking this academy versus the introductory course?

Academies are more immersive, as they are back-to-back camp weeks where students get introduced to programming and modding in the first week, and then dive deeper to really master the subject during the second week. Students will get a chance to really explore creating something completely, from start to finish, with a lot of mentorship and support.

How do DMA’s Teen Academy courses differ from DMA’s Teen weeklong camps/courses?

DMA’s Teen Academy courses are two weeks long and allows you to “take a deeper dive,” into your chosen subject. This way, you can learn more about a single topic or related topics than you would normally be able to do during a single week. In addition to creating unique projects, DMA’s Teen Academy students build digital portfolios of the work they completed during their two-week program. Our Academies provide an immersive, pre-college/career experience and allow students more time to build a mentorship with instructors and friendships with other campers.

My camper wants to attend a Teen two-week Academy, but can’t or does not want to stay overnight. Is that permissible?

Although we encourage our Teen Academy students to stay overnight where and when possible, it is okay for students to attend as day-only students.

Can my child take the second week of a two-week academy by itself?

Due to the way that our academies are structured, it would not be possible for your camper to take only the second week only of the academy.

So my camper is going to be doing the overnight program. Are the weekends included as well?

The “weekend-between” option is not automatically included with the overnight option. If you want your camper to stay during the weekend as well as during the two weeks of camp, you will need to add the weekend-between option, if available.

What if the content is too easy or too hard once the course starts?

DMA two-week Academy courses and curricula are built to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities. This, along with a very skilled instructional staff and low student-to-staff ratio (average of 7:1), allows us to individualize lessons, customize the learning experience and offer plenty of personalized, one-on-one time for each student. If you have a particular goal or project idea, instructors will work with you and guide you to help you achieve it.

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