Beyond Code, Why Summer Tech Camps are on the Rise (Part 2)
May 31, 2018 by DeDe Mulligan

Believe it or not, summer tech camps have been around since the late 1970s. They were originally geared toward young men who were entering their senior year of high school and interested in the field of computer science. They were primarily on the east or west coast of the United States.

Back then, you had displays attached to large computer systems or card readers that generated programming printouts. No games, no collaboration and most importantly…no fun.

Fast forward to 2018. Summer tech camps now, focus on new and exciting offerings for all students six to eighteen years of age. And when I say all, I mean it. Organizations like Girls who Code and Code.org talk about the importance of coding and what young minds are delivering with it. Here is brief video about the value of learning to code: https://youtu.be/nKIu9yen5nc

Today’s post is a continuation of the tech camp experience. This piece includes interview highlights from a New York camp coordinator, who has watched the camping landscape change over the years.

Four Focuses for Campers in 2018

Focus on Game Development

Students learn how to create a game from start to finish using many tools, including Scratch. “This is a major focus of our camp. This is what every kid wants to do – invent a new game,” stated Melora Lofretto, Camp Coordinator of Kidoyo, Code Make Own and OYOclass.com.

Camp directors will need to obtain specialized equipment, including gaming laptop rentals or gaming systems.

Focus on Three Programming Tools

Python is a programming language used in artificial intelligence (AI) that lets students work quickly and integrate systems more effectively. It is open sourced and has beginner to advanced modules for web development, scientific data analysis and the development of GUI interfaces. “This is a very hot software and what companies demand. 99% of IT positions want Python skilled programmers,” said Lofretto.

 

Unity is the leading global game industry software. More developers and players use Unity than any other gaming system.

Lua combines simple procedural syntax with powerful data description constructs based on associative arrays and extensible semantics. It’s ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping.

Camp directors will need desktop rentals that have enough RAM and a high-end video card in each to support the campers.

 

Focus on Website Development

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. With Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript, it forms a triad of cornerstone technologies for the web. Campers learn how to build a website using these three tools.

The website is designed to showcase each student’s game at the end of the week. They learn how to program the game, and then they must build a website to show off their work, according to Lofretto.

Camp directors do not require specialized equipment for this. Standard computer rentals will work well.

Focus on VR/AR

Students learn about immersive technologies and how to program within them. One popular offering is Minecraft with MakeCode.  “We teach the kids how VR chat rooms work and how they can build a three-dimensional space,” Lofretto added.

Camp directors will use gaming rentals, including gaming monitors, and the proper VR or AR equipment.

We Have Plenty of Tech Coding Camp Equipment

With 20 locations nationwide including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, SmartSource Rentals can offer you a variety of technology options to run your summer camp! Please contact us today for more information.

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