HCC technology camps can expand young learners’ coding knowledge coding, more

In previous years, Hawkeye Community College had summer camps aimed toward a younger audience of learners 8-14. This summer, HCC has more camps than ever before. 

HCC is bringing back the camps Roblox Makers from June 24-28, where you can learn how Roblox developers make their games by building 3D models in Roblox Studio. Minecraft Restone Engineers is also coming back July 8-12. In this camp, you can learn how to utilize redstone in Minecraft, and at the end of the camp, you will make your own carnival in the game with your newly learned knowledge of redstone. The last returning camp is Make Your Own Video Game on July 22-26. In this camp, you learn concepts like coding, design, graphics and more to create your own video game. 

Along with the returning camps, there are two new camps as well. First is AI Adventures, which is an introduction to machine learning where students will explore the world of artificial intelligence while also combining it with coding. This camp is July 15-19. The other new camp is Roblox Coders And Entrepreneurs on July 29-Aug. 2. This class features game design concepts and coding to give students about the Roblox Studio. 

These camps are useful to new and younger learners by engaging them in computer science and coding with games they are most likely familiar with and will connect with. As technology rapidly changes and gets better, these classes can help students get a head start on understanding coding and other computer science concepts. 

Lucas Plouff is a part of the HCC staff. He said, “I think a lot of students are excited about the games that they play, so for the Roblox camps and the Minecraft camps are really our most popular because I think a lot of learners loved playing these games at home, and this gives them an opportunity to expand on their knowledge and what they already do with these games and open up the possibility of inventing something new on that platform or something entirely new on its own.”

These HCC camps have been around for six years, and they are always looking to grow from previous years. Plouff said, “Students who register for the camps utilize an online portal to access our curriculum, and they utilize coding practices to build a portion of a video game or an original video game. With the AI it is a new camp this year, so we are not super familiar with the curriculum yet, but we’re happy it will be starting later in the summer, so we’ll get that curriculum delivered from a third part called Black Rocket, and they are a trusted source of curriculum for younger learns, and we have been utilizing them for at least six years, and we have had a lot of success with the camps that we’ve had in the past.”

These technology camps are useful from the coding experience the students get, but they will also have fun because of the familiar video games available in the camps. Plouff said, “I think that students should consider joining a camp because it’s an exciting thing to do over the summer, to dig a little deeper into something they’re interested in. I think that students are overwhelmingly excited and happy and satisfied when they’re done with the camps, and we have a lot of children that come back for several camps the same year, or they will come back the following year because they had such a good time.”

Participants can register for one of the camps at www.hawkeyecollege.edu/connect/tech-camps.

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