Keep Kids Engaged, Learning All Summer at Tech Camp

posted on Friday, July 13, 2018 in  College News

When the school year winds down and the weather heats up, most parents are probably looking for something to keep their kids occupied during the summer months. There’s certainly no shortage of activities in the Cedar Valley for just about every interest.  

Summer is also a time when you hear parents and educators talk about “summer learning loss.” Many studies have been done on the “summer slide” and while the results vary across the research, there is one general consensus everyone can agree on: Learning shouldn’t stop at the end of the school year.

One way to keep kids engaged (and entertained) during the months away from school is a summer camp. Hawkeye Community College offers a series of summer technology camps that started in June and continue through August. Since 2016 we have partnered with Black Rocket, one of the leading resources for kids summer camps with a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) focus.

Most of the Black Rocket camps offered at Hawkeye are for kids ages 8-14. In “Maker Lab: Make Your First 3D Creation” (July 9-13), kids can create their first action figure, design custom jewelry, make a new toy, or prepare a model for 3D printing. Minecraft is increasingly popular, and our “Minecraft Modders” camp (July 16-20) will let kids learn the basics of modding and programming foundations.

Kids attending “Make Your First 3D Video Game” (July 23-27) will develop a game concept that goes beyond the limitations of the traditional 2D game, creating an immersive 3D world. In “Code Breakers” camp (August 6-10), kids learn the basics of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS through a series of web projects and design challenges.

We strive to make our camps fun, engaging, educational, and inclusive. This year, we’re offering a special camp for kids on the Autism Spectrum who need more individualized assistance. In this session of “Minecraft Designers” (July 30-August 3), kids will design characters and buildings for their game while working in pairs with the guidance and support of trained assistants who have experience working with kids on the autism spectrum.

Costs vary by camp. Students with financial need may qualify for scholarships. For more information, call 319-296-4290 or visit Last year, more than 140 kids attended one of our summer tech camps, and we hope to see even more young summer learners on campus this year.

Christi Mason is community education manager for Hawkeye Community College Business and Community Education.

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