CWRU hosts TECHie Camp for CMSD students
Computer programming and game design provided free for STEM students
Case Western Reserve University is teaming with TECH CORPS and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to offer free TECHie Camps this summer, providing elementary and middle school students an opportunity to learn how to program computers, design their own video games and more.
With financial support from the Gelfand Engineering and Technology Education Fund, three free one-week camps will be available to up to 60 students from the district’s K-8 STEM schools and from its gifted program system-wide. The camps will be held on the Case Western Reserve campus.
TECH CORPS is a non-profit dedicated to bringing additional technology resources to K-12 students and teachers through local, state and national programs as well as partnerships with educational, business, government and community organizations across the country. Since 1995, more than 10,000 technology volunteers have devoted time and talents in schools and community organizations through a variety of TECH CORPS programs.
The TECHie Camp program is designed to engage 3rd-8th grade students in activities that can stimulate a deeper interest in technology; as well as provide opportunities for them to express their imaginations. The middle school TECHie campers at Case Western Reserve will learn how to create their own computer games using Alice, a three-dimensional software program developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon. The elementary school campers will develop interactive animations and games using Scratch, a programming language specifically developed for young students by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
When not directly engaging with technology, students will tour the Case Western Reserve campus and engineering labs and engage with college students, faculty and administrators, said Me’lani Joseph, director of engineering at the Case Western Reserve Gelfand STEM Center, which officially opened this month.
The new Gelfand center is designed to foster collaboration across the university in creating STEM learning opportunities for pre-college youth. It provides local K-12 educators with a one-stop shop to learn about and participate in the university’s STEM education initiatives.
“We want to develop ongoing relationships with the students,” Joseph said. “Our goal is to encourage STEM students to consider furthering their study of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) in college.”
Nationally and locally, women, Latinos and African Americans are underrepresented in these fields, said Lisa M. Chambers, TECH CORPS National Director. The organization works to close that gap through a combination of after-school and summer programs including Student TECH CORPS, TECHie Club, TECHie Club: Girls, and more outreach.
"Most elementary and middle school students today are enthusiastic users and consumers of technology," said Chambers. "They hardly remember a time when there was no Internet, e-mail or cell phones.”
Through TECH CORPS programs, she said, “we put students in the role of creating and designing with technology—not just using and consuming it."
CMSD students interested in participating in the camps should submit an application packet by Feb. 22. Applications are available through the Cleveland school district principals and STEM schools teachers and online at http://goo.gl/hEpTh. The three free camps, which are limited to 20 students each, run the weeks of July 8, 15 and 22. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday.
TECH CORPS will also offer an open-enrollment camp at the university the week of June 24. The cost to enroll is $350 per student. Details can be found on the organization’s website, www.techcorps.org.
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,200 undergraduate and 5,600 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.
TECH CORPS was founded in 1995 by Gary Beach, Publisher Emeritus of CIO Magazine. Beach envisioned an organization that would challenge American volunteers to help K-12 schools build a technology infrastructure -- much like the Peace Corps challenges men and women to help developing countries build their infrastructures. Building from a state pilot in Massachusetts, TECH CORPS developed and deployed technology programs and tech-savvy volunteers to assist K-12 schools and youth-serving organizations across the country. TECHie Camp is a TECH CORPS program, to learn more visit www.techcorps.org.
The primary goal of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is to become a premier school district in the United States of America. CMSD envisions 21st Century Schools of Choice, where students are challenged with a rigorous curriculum that considers the individual learning styles, program preferences and academic needs of each student and where the skills of high quality educators, administrators and staff are supported and developed. CMSD is committed to achieving its strategic goals to (1) create and support quality schools, (2) build capacity of quality teachers and leaders, (3) design effective curriculum, assessment and instruction, (4) create demand for our schools, and (5) serve as effective resource stewards.