Girls Build Apps and Robots at 10th Annual Summer Technology Camp
Camp Infinity to Spark Girls’ Interest in Science and Math
DETROIT, July 25, 2013 – Metro Detroit girls from grades four through seven will design websites and apps, create video games, and build robots next week at an interactive summer camp. Camp Infinity, now in its 10th year, is presented by the Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation.
“The growth of MCWT’s Camp Infinity is testament to Michigan’s vibrant technology community and its role in ensuring we continue to attract and retain top IT talent long into the future,” said Charlotte Decker, CIO of Auto Club Group and vice president of Foundation programs for MCWT.
This is MCWT’s second Camp Infinity this year. The in-demand program, which introduces technology as fun and inspires the pursuit of technology education, consistently carries a waiting list. MCWT member and partner donations enabled 50 more girls to participate in the hands-on experience.
MCWT designed the camp to spark girls’ interest in math and science, which tends to decrease during middle-school years. It separates them into two groups of 25 by grade to better cater to their technological experience. The fourth- and fifth-grade girls focus on website and video game design, while sixth- and seventh-graders concentrate on robotics and web design.
All campers participate in a Chrysler-led innovation session, an in-vehicle technology and app usage demonstration with General Motors, and an app development workshop. Leaders from IBM, Compuware, GM and Altair meet with the girls during lunchtime to encourage continued learning about technology throughout school. Access to these role models reinforces the rewards and opportunities a career in technology can bring.
Ann Bieneman, a parent of a 2012 Camp Infinity participant, said girls are excited to show off the website they built themselves or the robot they programmed after a weeklong technology immersion.
“They’ve learned more than programming: Every girl comes away with a new sense of possibility,” she said. “They learn that technology careers can be exciting, challenging and rewarding for women.”
Jean MacLeod, another participant’s parent, echoes the sentiment.
“The camp opened up a whole new world for my daughter,” she said. “She now feels very confident about tackling programming and robotics. The MCWT team made technology fun and possibly helped shape a future engineer.”
The week concludes with a competition where girls, in teams of two, design, build and program a robot to joust with their opponents. Each team programs a robot to follow a line to the jousting circle where it faces an opponent. Using building and programming elements, the robots compete to knock their opponents out of the ring.
Camp Infinity runs July 29 to August 2 at University of Detroit Mercy. Camp Infinity at Lawrence Technological University occurred the week of June 24.
The Michigan Council of Women in Technology strives to inspire and grow women in technology fields, with an aspirational vision to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with networking, learning, mentoring, and technology experiences for professionals and students. Its nonprofit Foundation provides programs and funds supporting the education and orientation of young women throughout school and fostering women in various stages of their professional lives. Find more information at www.mcwt.org and connect via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and www.mcwtblog.org
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Editor’s note: Media are invited to attend to see high-energy, hands-on work on Thursday, August 1, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, August 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. During this time, the girls will be testing their robots, and students and counselors will be available for interviews. Media are also invited to attend the End of Camp Ceremony on Friday, August 2 at 2 p.m. However, attendees and staff will not be available for interviews during the ceremony. For more information, contact Janette Phillips.