GTA seeks new adventures in the world of tech

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Denise Lipiansky, art by GTA students

GTA students build skills in digital art and design throughout the three-year program.

Winnie Einhorn, Co-Editor in Chief

Graphics and Technology students haven’t failed to bring a little extra excitement to the campus, from facilitating the haunted house, to designing posters for upcoming events. What’s in store for the academy next, and what do they do behind the scenes? 

Much like Woodside’s neighboring academy program, the Green Academy, the GTA stands out with a wide array of curriculum-focused field trips. This year, students are just beginning their adventures. 

“We did a field trip to the cartoon Museum, where we also went to Ghiradelli square,” GTA multimedia teacher Denise Lipiansky said. “We’re probably going to [go to the] SF MOMA, the modern art museum in San Francisco, as another [trip].” 

As for school-wide projects, the haunted house may have been the biggest endeavor of the year. That said, there may still be a few GTA-organized events yet to come.

“In terms of activities for the whole school like the haunted house, I don’t believe we’re gonna do anything like that [again],” Lipiansky said. “But last year, some students put together a hot chocolate and coffee fundraiser, [so we may do] something small like that.”

Beyond school events and fundraising, GTA students explore a wide variety of graphics-related programming, beginning sophomore year. 

“The sophomores learn how to use Photoshop,” Lipiansky said. “[They] also learn about design theory, principles of design, elements of art, how to make good compositions, [and] lots of different techniques in special effects.”

Juniors build upon their photoshop skills, while also diving into more advanced fields. These students move from photo editing to graphic design, expanding the range of creative opportunities in their work.  

“[Juniors are] starting Illustrator again, which is more for making graphics, advertisements, [and] logos,” Lipiansky said. “Eventually, they’ll do InDesign, which is for layouts of books and magazines. Both classes learn a little bit of special effects in motion, like videos.” 

In their final year of the program, students dive deeper into motion-animation and computer graphics, allowing for more specialized projects in art or computer coding. 

“[The seniors work] with Mr. Ettlin, and they do animations,” Lipiansky said. “Once you get to Ettlin’s class, you do more animation, and [students can] do either the artwork or the coding for [their projects.]”

The Graphics and Technology Academy offers much in the ways of animation and design, but the values of learning in one of Woodside’s academies can go beyond the subject matter itself. Students in the GTA have the opportunity to form deeper bonds with their peers and teachers, collaborating together throughout their three years in the academy. 

“I like that I get to have the same students more than one year in a row,” Lipiansky said. “I really get to know them, and [form a] cool bond.”