07.07.2014

Technology is Summer Camp’s Latest Attraction

Technology is Summer Camp’s Latest Attraction

Photo | Fire Tech Camp

Summer’s here, and everyone with children will need to start thinking about what they’re going to keep them occupied with once school ends. One very useful option is grandparents, but if they’re not available then summer and activity camps are a popular choice to keep kids away from the console and TV. Some also value highly the the benefits of these camps, be they educational, sporting or for personal growth, and children are often sent off even if cheaper options are available.

Among these camps, technological campuses – be they robotic, programming, videogame design, entrepreneurship, web design or a combination of all these – are gaining followers. And the truth is, if 30 years ago it was evident that you had to have a good command of the key skills in order to improve your professional future, today we know that the kids who are currently attending secondary school will need to have basic notions of programming and technology to get ahead professionally.

Obviously, it won’t be necessary for all of them to know how to programme, but they will need to understand how to use the equipment around them. And, given that many economists warn that we’re headed towards an increasingly technological society with incredibly high unemployment rates, these skills may mark the difference between getting a decent job or having to join the dole queues. And we’re not just talking about work. Learning about technology also raises children’s self-esteem and helps them to develop problem-solving abilities.

Technology is Summer Camp’s Latest Attraction

Photo | Fab Kids, en fotos del IaaC

The problem is that not all schools are prepared to give this kind of class, which is why many parents decide to dedicate their kids’ free time in summer to learning these materials and, if possible, to do so while having a good time in a summer camp environment.

There’s currently various technology camps all over the world,
Not as many as sports camps, perhaps, but their numbers are growing. Some look particularly interesting, such as:

  • Fire Tech Camp in the UK, which teaches Arduino, in order to programme videogame design in various languages.

  • IDTech Camps, celebrated all over the United States. These teach programming, robotics, web development and design, 3D animation, cinema and photography.

  • Alexa Cafe is a camp for girls which takes place in Silicon Valley (United States), which aims to teach girls to build projects from zero with: brand design, entrepreneurship and leadership, creative programming and philanthropy.

  • Millennium Youth Camp offers camps in Finland each summer for maths, science and technology.

  • Camp Tecnológico carries out summer camps that teach robotics, programming, 3D animation and videogame design all over Spain.

And if sending kids to a summer camp is out of the question, you can always find similar content in courses or festivals such as Barcelona’s Fab 10 along with the Fab Festival being celebrated during this first week of July, which offers conferences and workshops open to the general public. For adults and children, these include musical creation workshops from Vailets Hacklab, drone construction, 3D and laser-cutting decoration and many more), as well as featuring a special children’s campus during the FabKids week, which quickly ran out of entrance tickets.

It seems obvious that demand is high for children’s technological camps and activities. It’s also a great opportunity for them to have a fantastic time, as is shown in the goings-on of the Mobile World Centre, numerous mSchools programmes and the Vailets Hacklab Day in May. We hope that more kids’ activities will spring up soon, both from the public and private sector!

The mSchools programme is a multi-faceted mEducation initiative by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in collaboration with The Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall and GSMA.

Launched in 2013, mSchools supports students and teachers effectively integrating mobile technologies into the classroom. Mobile enables access to up-to-date materials, improves collaboration and strengthens learner engagement, opening up new ways of teaching and learning that improve achievement and employability.

The mSchools programme brings together private and public institutions to help students build important new skills and prepare them for today’s digital world.

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