At TUMO, technology and art merge to provide teens with a competitive edge in a digital world. Thousands of students ages 12 through 18 gather at the after-school center where they have access to the tools and resources to develop skills not traditionally taught in classrooms. With access to state of the art technology and some of the world's leading professionals in web design, robotics, animation, film and much more, TUMO teens are encouraged to tap into their entrepreneurial intuitions to create and expand the boundaries of today's cutting edge industries.

Students navigate through their personal learning plans via TUMO World, a special learning interface that prepares them for hands-on practice. Intensive workshops, guest lectures and community events give members a chance to apply their knowledge and skills to the world around them. We aspire to motivate this generation to learn, and encourage them to create new possibilities for themselves!

Our flagship center sits at the end of Yerevan's Tumanyan Park named for the Armenian children's author and advocate, Hovhannes Tumanyan. Tumanyan Park—known to many as "Tumo"—inspired the name for a program dedicated to enriching and educating children.

TUMO was born from the imagination of Sam and Sylva Simonian. Born and raised in Beirut, the Simonians moved to the United States as teenagers. Sam enrolled in the engineering program at the University of Texas at Arlington and went on to co-found the leading telecommunications company, Inet. The Simonians have always noted the significant contributions Armenian organizations made to their education and success over the years, and have made it a personal endeavor to extend that gift to the current generation of bright and motivated Armenians. As such, The Simonian Foundation fully funds the TUMO Center in Yerevan, its programs, the adjoining plaza, and the revitalization of Tumanyan Park. Sam and Sylva are intimately involved at TUMO, with Sam lending his expertise on technology and its economic impact and Sylva contributing to the center's engagement with the environment and the program's unique curriculum.

There are currently four TUMO locations throughout Armenia and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the summer of 2011, the Simonian Educational Foundation unveiled its first center in Armenia's capital, Yerevan. With the support of the Central Bank of Armenia, TUMO opened its second center in Dilijan, Armenia in 2013. In partnership with the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) the center has expanded to two critical locations: Gyumri, Armenia and Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. To be part of the movement write to us at partnership@tumo.org.

Good question! The students work with two types of instructors. The first are TUMO staff members who teach the permanent and regularly scheduled workshops. The second are those who are invited on a short-term basis to teach provisional workshops. This system assures that students receive the benefits of regularly scheduled lessons while also taking advantage of the constant variation and new opportunities offered by the ad-hoc workshops.

Yes! We are always looking for experienced professionals to work with. If you are energetic and passionate about your field and want to work with some of Armenia's most motivated teens, please fill out a form and let's get started!

The TUMO learning system is designed to be flexible so that each student has the chance to learn about what they love. We offer four main focus areas:

  • Animation
  • Game Development
  • Web Design
  • Filmmaking

After initial exposure to the above fields, each student picks one to focus on and further develop. Aside from these four majors, we also offer workshops in a variety of complementary fields that all students can take part in, including:

  • Technical skills: programming, 3D modeling, 2D graphics
  • Artistic skills: drawing, music, writing
  • Professional skills: online literacy, communication, teamwork

If you're between the ages of 12 and 18, you can be a TUMO student! Seriously. That's it. You will need (1) a parent or guardian with you when you register (2) both your guardian and your birth certificate or passport. At registration, you'll be asked to make a one-time deposit of 10,000 AMD that will be returned upon graduation. Considerations can be made regarding this deposit, please contact us for further assistance.

TUMO does not have a membership fee. It is free of charge for all! At registration, you'll be asked to make a one-time deposit of 10,000 AMD that will be returned upon graduation or leave of the program.Considerations can be made regarding this deposit, please contact us for further assistance.

Yes! With much success, we've launched an initiative called Camp TUMO! Camp TUMO is a summer program that invites students from around the globe to come to Yerevan and take part in a jam-packed experience filled with education and fun. Teens are given the opportunity to take part in TUMO's learning system while immersing themselves in a new culture through guided tours and excursions. For more information write to us at camp@tumo.org.

TUMO does not issue diplomas upon graduation. However, we help students develop a portfolio chockfull of all the projects and various workshops they've participated in. When they leave the center, we want them to be able not just to talk about their skills, but to also show them.

Call us at (+37410) 398 413 ext. 2. Please leave your full name, age, and phone number and we will call you back with a good time to come in and register. We look forward to meeting you!

Of course! TUMO visiting hours are from 4 to 5 pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. To schedule a tour please fill out this request form OR send us a brief email. Please make sure that emails are sent 1 to 2 weeks before your preferred tour date.

Please be sure to include the following information in your email

  • Name
  • Country
  • Organization (if applicable)
  • Desired date of visit
  • Number of visitors
  • Purpose of the visit

We hope to see you soon!

Armenia is one of the few places in the world where you can visit a centuries-old monastery and attend a rock concert all in one day. The energy is always high, the food is rich, the nightlife is vibrant and the people are warm and friendly. Hey, if Armenia can make Kanye smile, it has got to be special.

Teach at Tumo

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Leader

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Halabyan 16, Yerevan, Armenia

+374 010 398413

info@tumo.org

Dilijan's Newest Hot Spot

June 24, 2016

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Your favorite forested wonderland, Dilijan, is about to add a cool new place for young people to hang out and be awesome.

As a result of our cooperation with the IDeA Foundation, Cafe #2 in Dilijan is opening soon and the location previously known as the "lake coffee shop" will be reborn. And guess what? Most of the furniture was made by our TUMOians during the furniture revamping workshop with Natacha Kalfayan and the entire interior design was done by her as well! The fantastic drawings on the wall were done by our own workshop leader Ani Manoo!

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Not only that, but our students will also be working there and adding their unique flair to the already hip ambiance. The center is going to be for young people and by young people and will have games, events and projects galore.

But wait, there's more! A group of TUMO teens will be working on the center's pr and social media while another group will be working with Idea's talented designer Christine Sargsyan to create the logo.

We're working with our great partners at IDeA to make it all happen very soon so watch out for more updates!

Next step: Create our own coffee. ‪#‎TUMObucks‬?

#TUMOspotlight on Narek the Musician

June 21, 2016

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We all know those people - the ones who crave the spotlight and find no topic more interesting than themselves. The world is their stage and boy, are they ready to perform. Then, there are people like Narek Hakobyan. 14-year-old Narek, a.k.a. Cosmos, is so interested in the world around him that talking about himself seems tedious.

Narek is a musician. But don’t start imaging a single-instrument musician type just yet. That’s child’s play and here at TUMO, we deal with teens. In fact, Narek plays six different instruments including the violin, the piano, two types of drums, and the bass guitar. But first and foremost, his passion is reserved for the guitar. As soon as the topic of his guitar is brought up, a kind of peaceful smile spreads across his face. When asked why the guitar is his favorite, Narek responds with a concise, “Because there’s life there.”

Narek and three of his friends (soon to be four) formed a band called The Brotherhood. They primarily play rock, but also dabble in blues and jazz. However, what really sets this band apart is that aside from organizing their own concerts, all the proceeds are donated to charity. Past concerts have benefited at-risk families and a local elderly home. For Narek, the reasoning behind it is simple. “When you see how some people live and you know that you can do something to help them, you realize that you need to do just that.”

And that’s that for music-loving Narek.

Except for the fact that Narek’s main focus area is actually programming. According to him, it’s the key to everything in the 21st century. But his favorite TUMO workshop thus far? Music, of course.

FUN FACT: Narek loves to play intellectual games, foremost among them “Eench/Vortegh/Yerp” (What/Where/When), a game you play with teams or against other people. He admits he can get a little carried away and starts to yell when he plays, but assures us it’s all in good fun.

TUMO Gets Simpsonized

June 15, 2016

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Hi. We’re the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies! You may remember us from our learning labs such as robotics and motion graphics. We got the chance to chat with The Simpsons’ character layout and rough animation artist (and our newest TUMO Yerevan learning lab leader), Yelena Geodakyan.

Yelena got her start in the animation industry after someone saw her published illustrations and suggested she “come work for us.” Turned out that “us” was Disney. Since then, she’s worked at Warner Bros., Dreamworks and Sony. But most important was 10 years ago, when she was introduced to the world of Springfield and that beloved animated yellow family.

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Though, to be fair, Yelena’s passion for animation began long before. “Animation is such a good combination of different art forms that I absolutely love. It’s visual. It has music, writing and a story. Plus, it’s uplifting; you forget your problems and issues. Animation is just fun.”

During her workshop, teens used the latest version of Toon Boom Harmony, a program that has become standard within the TV animation industry. And what did they do with Toon Boom, you ask?

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Well, anyone who’s even slightly familiar with the classic show knows about the couch gag. (But just in case you’ve been living under a rock in Shelbyville and have no idea what we’re talking about, we’ll explain.) At the beginning of each Simpsons’ episode, the members of this delightfully dysfunctional nuclear family arrive at the couch and a twist ensues. Each opening sequence is done in a different way and style, frequently by a guest animator. One of the recent hits was by Disney animator Eric Goldberg. This is the couch gag.

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Each TUMO teen developed a rough animation of their couch gag. Not only that, they “Simpsonized” (it’s a thing) themselves to be included in their own couch gag. To accomplish this, they went through the typical, animation process. First, they worked on their character, then moved on to the storyboard, layout, and rough animation. From there, they explored timing, camera placement and how to set up the perfect shot. “I wanted them to learn the whole process. There are so many nuances involved and so many ways to make an animation better. Some people think animation is just moving things from place to place, but it’s obviously more than that. When you watch old Disney or Warner Bros. stuff, it’s brilliant; it’s art.”

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Of course, no Simpsons’ learning lab is complete without understanding humor. Yelena taught her students how to make their animations funny, as in how to set up a joke, when to reveal it, when a joke works and when it doesn’t.

So watch out for a world of Simpsonized TUMOians! In the words of a certain malevolent billionaire, we’re sure they’ll be excellent…

The World of Infographics with Sedrak Mkrtchyan

June 14, 2016

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The learning lab with Sedrak Mkrtchyan at TUMO Stepanakert is in full swing! Students are learning about infographics, typefaces, fonts and grids. Results to come. Stick around!

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#TUMOsummer with Nvak

June 08, 2016

What do you get when you put a Eurovision finalist for Armenia, a Grammy Award winner, and an iTunes Top 100 songwriter slash producer with a group of motivated, curious, and fabulous teens? TUMO’s next partnership project, obviously.

Taking place at TUMO this summer, Nvak is a music program meant to teach students everything from proper vocal technique to song production. Not only that, but the program intends to connect teens from Armenia to the music scene abroad.

Now let’s get to know the three, aforementioned masters of melody who’ll be coming to TUMO for two weeks to make this happen.

• Founder of Nvak, Tamar Kaprelian is a famous musician from the US and was one member of the six-person band Genealogy. They competed as Armenia’s representative in the 2015 Eurovision contest with their entrancing song “Face the Shadow”

• Ben Moody is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, recording artist and producer who co-founded the band Evanescence.

• Andrew Fox is a songwriter, composer, produce, and orchestrator. He produced and arranged the original cast recording for the musical Twisted, which reached the iTunes Top 100 list.

(Anyone else want to invite them to the imaginary, rockstar party you’ve always dreamed of?)

We’re very excited to partner with Nvak and bring some sweet tunes to Halabyan 16. Tamar is just as eager to start this project with TUMO adding, “In 2015, while participating in Eurovision, I had the opportunity of spending time with local Armenian kids. These kids were driven, smart, and full of untapped potential. It was then that I felt a need to take action in the country. Nvak is an arts initiative that aims to empower the Armenian youth. It is a program that brings together people of different cultural backgrounds through creativity and collaboration. Nvak 2016, lasting from July 18 to the 30th, will focus on songwriting and music. And ultimately, it is our hope that through art we can create long-lasting and meaningful relationships between student and instructor.”

Sounds like music to our ears.

 

Sevana's Stepanakert Shenanigans

June 08, 2016

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It’s a universal rule that anything said with a French accent is instantly cooler, regardless of content. (Picture Alain Delon saying, well, anything.) Lucky for TUMO, everything French-Armenian musician Sevana Tchakerian says is also as cool as it sounds.

Sevana first started out studying classical music, but having grown up in a strong, Armenian community, it didn’t take long before she began to dabble in Armenian folk music. Now, in addition to singing, Sevana plays three instruments: the piano, the accordion and the shvi (Armenian flute). Fast-forward a few years and she’s one of the founders of the popular band Medz Bazar. “Actually, it was kind of founded by accident. It started as a jam session, then we got more serious and now we’re a professional band.” Professional indeed; they’ve been invited to perform in 10 countries to date and the list continues to grow! Next up is Portugal.

Fast-forward a few more years and Sevana’s decided to take the plunge and move to Armenia where she’s been living a double-life as folk music rockstar and founder of her own music-education organization, Tsap-Tsapik.

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Now, for the next two weeks, Sevana will be teaching students at TUMO Stepanakert about singing and rhythm. “Vocal harmonizing requires a lot of attention and listening to one another. It’s a valuable skill I want them to come away with.” But Sevana isn’t content stopping there. Her students will also learn how to use Logic Pro X to arrange new renditions of Armenian folk songs. By using samples of these traditional melodies, the teens will create something modern and interesting.

“I’ll be introducing the students to the current pioneers of the Armenian music world like Tigran Hamasyan, Mikayel Voskanyan and Gata Band. It’s important for Armenian musicians to own their culture and have a link with their past, but also not feel confined by it and break boundaries to create something new. I want the students to use their history to create something beautiful, together.”

We’re looking forward to seeing what these folks come up with!

Let's Simpsonize It

June 03, 2016

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The Simsponization of Armenia’s youth (or some might say, the Armenization of the Simpsons) has begun. Layout artist and animator Yelena Geodakyan is at TUMO, and the TUMOians have started their journey through the various stages of animation production. Yelena is guiding her students in mastering the unique art of Simpsons character design, having them create Simsponized versions of themselves to be used in the animated shorts they are creating.

Since 1996, Yelena Geodakyan has been working as a lead artist in the world’s largest film and animation studios including Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Sony Entertainment, and Fox TV. She has participated in the creation of such global hits as “The Iron Giant,” “The Road to El Dorado,” “Kung-Fu Panda,” and many others.

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#TUMOsummer Kicks Off Today

June 01, 2016

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This summer at TUMO is going to be an especially hot one. Dozens of events, learning labs, concert and projects are coming your way and we can’t wait to tell you all about them.

Here’s the plan. Step one, 34 professionals from across the globe will be visiting all four TUMO centers in Yerevan, Dilijan, Gyumri and Stepanakert. Such industry leaders as Yelena Geodakyan from The Simpsons, Lily Abagyan from Apple Inc., well-known Lebanese street-artists Ashekman, Arman Akopian from Ubisoft Montreal, Grigor Atanesyan from Esquire Russia and many (many) more will pass on their knowledge and experience in the fields of animation, game development, creative writing, drawing, programming, art and even design thinking to our thousands of TUMOians.

Step two, we’re partnering with the Nvak music camp. Developed by singer/songwriter Tamar Kaprelian, Nvak is an annual music intensive program for teens and young adults. Over the course of the program, TUMO teens will have the chance to participate in a learning lab led by such talents as Grammy Award winning producers, songwriters David Hodges and Ben Moody of Evanescence fame, and even Tamar herself. The project will be implemented with the generous support of AGBU.

Surely, this should be enough to hold our TUMOians over until the end of TUMO Summer, but we wanted more. There’s a Step three.

This year, July 3rd in Armenia is Vardavar and we’ll be celebrating across Tumanyan park with Vardavar-themed activities, competitions, photo-booths and live music.

There’s still more. Step four. TUMO’s 5th anniversary is a special occasion, and we’re having a special concert to celebrate: Ara Malikian and band will be rocking the Spanish violin at Tumanyan park.

TUMO Summer kicks off today. Ready, Set, Go!

Starting Something from Nothing

May 31, 2016

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In life, there are few things you can rely on. TUMO's own David Ashotyan and his ability to make you LOL is at the top of that list. David even has a book and video game in the works and if the project’s website is any indication, it’s sure to entertain us all. 
 
 
To hear David tell it, the idea for the game came after watching Indie Game: the Movie, a film documenting the trials and tribulations of independent game developers. “If they can do it, why not me,” he thought. Why not? After all, David’s already leading the next wave of Armenian, 3D Modelers through his workshops at TUMO. If he can teach 12-18 years olds the intricacies of ZBrush and Autodesk’s 3ds Max, creating a game should be a cakewalk (no, there won’t be actual cake).
 
David's main advice to his students is a central theme from his favorite film, Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant, ”You are who you choose to be.” Taking his own advice to heart, David chooses to be a game designer, creating Imaginary Guardians, a multi-genre game combining elements of Hack n’ Slash, Puzzle, and Tower Defense games.
 
It starts with the book, featuring more than 100 of the game's illustrations and guiding the reader through a breathtaking adventure of seven, brave friends. It serves as an introduction to the game's world, one full of adventure and peril, where players must rely on teamwork to succeed.
 
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Friendship is a powerful thing for David; he’s surrounded himself with a solid team of friends, old and new. Over time he discovered some had hidden talents, like Robert Voskanyan – for example –  a former TUMO Learning Coach who can play the Irish tin whistle and contributed to the project’s soundtrack. And while David is creating most of Imaginary Guardians’ art himself, he looked to TUMO’s mezzanine and found an assistant artist in Zara Barseghyan, co-founder of Yelling Animation Studio, a TUMO start-up led by former students.
 
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What does the future hold for David and his Imaginary Guardians? While he’s still hard at work prepping the game’s backgrounds and environmental design, his team is developing the user interface and running tests in Unreal Engine 4.
 
Expect Imaginary Guardians to welcome players in Late 2017 / Early 2018.
 

The Fine Art of Tennis with Gyumri's Haykuhi

May 27, 2016

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On any given day and at any given TUMO center, hundreds of people pass through the TUMO world. But even in this mass of people, it would be impossible to miss TUMO Gyumri coach Haykuhi Hovhannisyan. You see, Haykuhi’s big and vibrant personality is matched only by her big and vibrant hair. However, her luscious locks are just one aspect of Haykuhi’s unique character.

 Despite working at TUMO Gyumri since its opening last September, she knew well before that she wanted to work with students. It was after gaining experience as a summer camp counselor that she realized she enjoyed spending time mentoring teens. So naturally, after seeing the announcement for a TUMO learning coach position, she applied. And as far as we know, she’s never regretted that decision! “Here, not only do I have the opportunity to learn as I’m working, but I also get to turn around and teach what I’ve learned.”

Haykuhi’s currently studying economics in school, but harbors a love for photography and music. “I’ve always had the desire to learn more about music, but unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to do so just yet.” Fortunately, the same can’t be said about her other hobby: tennis. For Haykuhi, tennis is much more than just a way to get fit. “Tennis is an art form. It lends both your body and soul a kind of beauty and I love that.”

To some, calling tennis an art form may seem a bit of a stretch, but it falls perfectly with Haykuhi’s overall attitude toward life. “I’m abnormally optimistic to the point where people have told me they think I’ve just got my head in the clouds.” But she’s not fazed by the haters and rightfully so. “It just seems so plain to me. Things are always going to turn out well and get better.”

FUN FACT: Haykuhi is an anomaly among the TUMO staff in that she strongly dislikes watching movies and considers time spent watching them time lost. In fact, she’s only ever sat through a handful of movies.