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Blender for high school kids in Cincinnati


The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on a workshop by the Virtual Reality Education Pathfinder (VREP) programme. VREP is an educational initiative to teach high school students how to use virtual reality.

At the University of Cincinnati, 80 students from 10 local high schools were immersed in a Blender workshop for 2 days.

From the article:

"It's about bringing innovative ways for kids to learn," said Renita Heideman, technology consultant for HCESC. "It's about allowing kids to learn at their own pace and to construct their own knowledge, so that they're using skills they'll use in the workplace when they leave high school and start moving to college or to other careers."

Students used open-source 3D software, Blender, to make their gingerbread men, which met the criteria of designing texture, movement, curved and straight lines and an environment.

(Via Peter Merck)


About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Yeah, that's a nearly "classic" way to introduce Blender to
    newbies in the pre-version 2.5x days -> see the Blender Wiki
    manual for more details how to do it - and it looks as good as in
    the "Shrek" film series, too !

  2. Ah, yes. The gingerbread man tutorial. I remember my frustration with it because it referred to an older version of Blender than the one I was trying to learn to use. I stopped using Blender for a while and worked with another program which-shall-not-be-named. Granted, that was 2.4x era, and 2.5 is somewhat more accessible now with the re-organization of the former "buttons" window.

    BTW, I just introduced my 13 year old nephew to Blender. It will be interesting to see if his initial enthusiasm with the game engine turns him into a Blenderhead. Like those kids in Ohio, it will be up to him to learn at his own pace if he chooses.

  3. This is VERY cool! It's a great way to provide constructive directions to young people and to increase our support base for future development and creativity.
    I wish all schools would do it.

  4. lol I remember the gingerbread man tutorial! It actually made me quit blender for several years because I couldn't figure out how to make mine look like the example! I just couldn't figure out how to add normal mapping (back then I didn't even know what that was) to give it that cookie-look. Now, looking back, it makes me look like I was a real noob then. Now that I understand blender, I LOVE the interface and I wish all my OTHER programs worked like blender!

    Horray for Blender!

  5. Very cool, sometimes i wish my highschool woulda done that. Haaha i had to learn blender all by myself and that was a WAR to my own computer lol. :) very cool!! for ohio.

  6. The gingerbread man tutorial was one of my first with blender. It actually got me back into blender. I had tried blender before and gotten nowhere with it because I couldn't find any good tutorials. I had some experience with other 3D software and decided to take another shot with blender when I found that tutorial. The tutorial was great for me and I haven't looked back since.

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