TUMO Center for Creative Technologies is a nonprofit digital media learning center. It is unique and one of a kind technologies center in Yerevan, Armenia.
It is a place where thousands of students from ages 12 to 18 have the chance to enhance their mental abilities. TUMO gives teenagers the necessary knowledge and skills needed to be successful in this digital world. They use the latest digital tools. Skilled media professionals educate the students.
The center gives teens an opportunity to see how tech and art merge miraculously. Community events give students a chance to apply their knowledge and skills to the world around them.
Sam and Sylva Simonian founded TUMO. They fully fund its educational program through the Simonian Educational Foundation. The Simonians also actively participate in Tumo’s operations. Sam lends his knowledge on technology. Meanwhile, his wife, Sylva, contributes to the center’s engagement with the environment and the program syllabus as well.
It is free of charge after-school learning center. TUMO tops the list of ten best innovative schools worldwide. It leaves behind such educational institutions as the Silicon Valley AltSchool, Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo and the Steve Jobs Schools. French magazine We Demain made up the list.
See Serj Tankian’s ‘Uneducated Democracy’ made by a group of 14 to 18-year-olds at the TUMO Center.
See the Behind The Scenes as well! Very interesting and rather fun to watch. Young Armenian animators did a pretty good job!
Tumo’s Board of Advisors
Tumo’s board of advisors consists of professionals from North America and Armenia. They have industry experience across the center’s core focus areas.
Board of Advisors ↓
- Michael Aram
- Vahe Berberian
- Arman Davtyan
- Raffi Krikorian
- Roger Kupelian
- Pegor Papazian
- Dr.Debra Porch
- Katherine Sarafian
- Alex Seropian
- Serj Tankian
The center has a state-of-the-art digital technology, staffed by professional educators. It has been providing art, technology, and media. The center also has trained more than 6,000 teenagers aged 12 to 18, as stated above.
The most important thing is that the teens gain a lot of experience. They do it while working on real-life projects.
One of the most astonishing things about the center is that you can immediately feel the creative atmosphere once you get there.
The aura of TUMO transforms regular teens into curious and inquisitive minds like a miracle.
How does the learning system work?
Students at Tumo get their knowledge and skills highly based on their individual preferences.
The four main focus areas are animation, game development filmmaking, and web design.
Tumo Center for Creative Technologies: Workshops
- The first level of Animation provides teens with basic principles like squash and stretch, timing and spacing. They practice the fundamentals of creating weight and flexibility as well. They end the workshop by creating an animation of a bouncing character of their own design.
- The second level gives the students the opportunity to expand on what they learned in the first level. They explore new skills such as how to create arcs and animation circles. The teens end the workshop with an animation of a walking character that they design.
- The third level gathers all the knowledge and the skills the students learned in the first two levels. They utilize the main principles of animation along with the traditional animation workflow to learn about body mechanics in animation. In level three, the students practice how to show weight in motion. They learn about the fundamentals of character performance. Students also learn how to use body language to tell a story.
- In the first level of game development, students learn the basics of level design and game development steps using the base of Unity Engine. Students get acquainted with the Unity Interface and with the tools available in the editor. After that, teens learn how to import and manipulate game assets, create materials, add components and lights, and create prefabs.
- In the second level, students study the core fundamentals for scripting in Unity. It includes creating and manipulating variables and understanding the different types of operators. Teens also learn how to create instructions for game objects with the help of functions. Also, they jump into creating logic with conditional statements, loops, and basic arrays.
- The final level of game development helps students to focus on how to program playable characters, AI enemies and game logic. Then they freely use that cumulative knowledge to create a third person stealth game.
- The first level introduces the students to story structure and also familiarizes them with characters of well-known films. They also gain first-hand experience in understanding the most necessary aspects of writing a movie screenplay by writing their own. During the workshop, teens learn about the unique formatting of a screenplay and the software used to write it. When they end the workshop, teens already have an understanding of the foundations of narrative filmmaking.
- In the second level of filmmaking, teens work in small groups to shoot 1-3 minute movies together. To do this, they go through the entire process of film production, i.e. script writing, storyboard development, shooting and editing with the Adobe Premiere CS5.5 program.
- During the final level, workshop participants use the skills and knowledge gained throughout the previous workshops and work individually to create their self-made short movies, covering all the stages of the filmmaking process.
- This first level introduces the students to the languages HTML and CSS. They explore the fundamentals of web development.
- Then, students go on to learn about PHP and how to program with PHP language. They learn about AJAX technology and some MySQL database tools too. Using this newly gained knowledge, the participants develop a dynamic web page using HTML, CSS, PHP, AJAX, and MySQL.
- Using the current knowledge of MySQL and PHP, the students learn to create different websites with WordPress CMS.
However, students are encouraged to uncover all of these four areas. As they go through the syllabus, they keep completing challenging projects that get harder each time. Students then choose one area. After which they start to direct all their concentration exactly on that one area. They work hard for completing the final project at the end of a two-year cycle.
Also, Tumo curriculum also covers a set of supporting technical, artistic and professional skills. These include computer programming, 3D modeling, 2D graphics, drawing, music, writing, online literacy, and communication.
Tumo students create their individual learning plans. They complete various tutorials, exercises, and projects. Learning Coaches continuously support the students. They guide them through the learning process.
The learning system of TUMO works very well and helps teens expand their learning horizons.
Tumo members have access to various workshops in the four focus areas anytime. They also have access to the supporting technical, artistic and professional skills. Workshops range from the beginner to the advanced.
The learning experience at Tumo is punctuated by a variety of ad hoc events. They are both internal and open to the public. These are designed to stimulate, challenge and inspire members. Tumo hosts some exhibitions throughout the year and invites specialists to give lectures on topics related to the Tumo curriculum.
General Information About The Center
Tumo members have over 450 computer workstations to work with. They are packed with industry standard software. There are over 100 iPads and other mobile devices. There are 3D printers, musical keyboards, photo and video cameras as well.
You can find Tumo in one of Yerevan’s largest green areas, Tumanyan Park. It is also maintained and managed by Tumo.
There are a large variety of sports and recreational facilities in the park. For instance, a basketball court and a football field.
The Tumo Plaza is a unique and advanced outdoor space. It is made up of big surfaces in triangle forms. It has a reflective pool, a large historical fountain that has lots of LED lights. There is also a playful pop-up fountain. Tumo Plaza is a link between the Tumo building and the Tumanyan Park.
Other TUMO branches in Armenia
In January 2013, Tumo opened another free of charge program in Dilijan, Armenia. The Central Bank of Armenia supported it.
Similarly, students in Dilijan have four main focus areas. As a reminder, the main areas are animation, game development, filmmaking and web development. There are 29 workstations. About 300 teenagers both from Dilijan and other regions take part in the program.
You can see the neighboring army base from the window of Tumo Dilijan. If you look from that same window, you will see how the young 18 to 20-year-old Armenian soldiers file in formation to the center. While they’re defending the country, they’re also learning other important 21st century skills.
For Armenian soldiers, taking part in the TUMO Army program is a full-time commitment. They participate in various workshops every month.
Another Tumo center opened its doors in the second largest Armenian city Gyumri in May 2015.
The center cooperates with the Armenian General Benevolent Union.
Thousands of teenagers have the opportunity to learn many useful skills. Students are equipped with a broader outlook, advanced experience, and an extensive portfolio.
With the support of Karabakh Telecom, the newest Tumo branch opened in Stepanakert in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. It is important to mention that the center opened due to the partnership between the Simonian Educational Foundation and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
500 to 1,000 students will participate in the program twice a week. Also, each session takes two hours. The students will learn about animation, filmmaking, web development and game development. They will also study many other skills such as 3D modeling, computer programming, music, photography and graphic design.
It is expected to spread Tumo to other locations in Armenia and beyond Armenia too.
Also, see Michael He’s Video about Tumo Center for Creative Technologies: