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PJC, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Among 8 Recipients Of TWC Grants For Camp Code

AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission awarded eight grants totaling $399,586 for Camp Code to focus on increasing the interest of middle school students in coding and computer science; Paris Junior College and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas were among the eight grant recipients. At summer camps throughout the state, students will get hands-on experiences that allow them to learn problem solving and analytical skills while fostering an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related careers with a focus on computer science.

“The growing demand for high-skilled technical workers means Texas must continue to attract more students into STEM fields,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “Through programs like Camp Code, TWC remains committed to building a diverse workforce with the foundation in STEM necessary to keep our world class economy growing.”

The grants awarded to independent school districts, universities and higher education institutions are designed to spark interests in careers in computer programming from an early age and encourage them to consider careers in these highly sought-after fields. 

“Camp Code fosters interest in STEM fields and gives students a head-start towards rewarding careers with competitive salaries,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “By giving young Texans a glimpse into the world of computer programming we can inspire them to continue their studies in science and engineering fields.”

Creating summer camps that offer computer science projects that incorporate art and storytelling with robotics, video games, websites and applications can also further interest in the coding field. The coding education includes the most in-demand and popular computer science languages, such as Java, SQL, C++, Net, Perl, Ruby and JavaScript.

“Texas employers continue to call Texas home because of our world-class workforce and out-of-state businesses continue to move here in order to access this workforce,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “Camp Code is a prime example of preparing our future workforce and introducing them to STEM occupations at an earlier age, which increases the recruitment and retention rate of high tech and other businesses in our state.”

The eight recipients of the Camp Code scholarships are:

  • Paris Junior College, $49,567 – The curriculum provided during Camp Code will bring computer science to life and teach real industry competency. 90 Students will become familiar with the basics of Arduino, Blockly, C++ and Python coding, Cyber Security, Raspberry Pi, drone systems, robotics, mechanical and electrical engineering and programming in a team-based environment.
  • Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, $34,383 – Camp Code: Think Like a Programmer will serve 50 students in grades 6-8. The camps will take place at the STEM Center of Excellence and will allow students to participate in interactive computational-thinking activities to learn how programmers solve problems. The STEM Center of Excellence is a 92-acre living laboratory where students experience STEM and Outdoors in a unique Scout environment. GSA of Northeast Texas serves Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Collin, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Franklin, Freestone, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Navarro, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood Counties.
  • Texas Tech University, $64,390 – Raiders Who Code will provide 80  students with a diverse curriculum that covers programming and coding activities across a broad spectrum of applications. Hands-on, practical activities will not only provide campers with experience with industry-standard coding and programing languages and environments, but also with practical applications of those programs such as mobile and web applications, robotics, and 3D printers.
  • Angelo State University, $36,256 – These camps will provide 68 students with direct instruction in programming, along with additional sessions on team building, information on opportunities to join groups or organizations focused on learning and implementing coding activities, and careers in coding, robotics, and technology. 
  • Urban STEM Corporation (USTEM), $99,995 – D-Code Camp 2021 is projected to serve 200 middle school students. To address the underrepresentation of minority and female students in STEM fields USTEM seeks to provide preparation, exposure and access to coding and its applications to middle school students.
  • University of the Incarnate Word, $99,465 – The purpose of the summer computer programming camp (miniGEMS) is to increase the number of female students in STEM, especially from low income communities. Various hands-on coding exercises and robotic challenge courses will be held throughout the two-week session to reinforce coding/programming concepts for the 150 middle school students who will participate.
  • North East Independent School District, $5,030 – 50 students will participate in the camp that is designed to prepare middle school students for future studies in computer science, robotics and cybersecurity. Successful completion of the camp will create a prepared pool of students from which to populate the new Cybersecurity Magnet Program scheduled to open in August 2021.
  • Del Mar College, $10,500 – The camp will serve 15 student campers designed to encourage a team building experience where activities require campers to work together through various activities with understanding of design logic, computational thinking, and scripting languages. This camp will offer hands-on experiences that will provide challenging and innovative concepts in learning, problem solving, and analytical skills while fostering an interest in computer coding/programming using robots and drones.

Author: Faith Huffman

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