iCode Miami Summer Camp swaps typical camp activities for STEM-based learning

The iCode Miami Summer Camp at iTech@Thomas A. Edison Educational Center in Miami presented students with an alternative to traditional summer camps, swapping typical activities for coding lessons, group projects, and other STEM-centered activities. Over the course of two weeks, campers learned about the Arduino Studio software, coding in various languages, and other hardware applications. The camp was hosted by Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) with United Data Technologies (UDT) as a proud sponsor.

The STEM-based camp had students taking a deep dive into building apps, games, and animations. The group of seventh and eighth-grade students came together to not only learn new skills, but also to showcase a finished product at the end of camp. One project stood out to the facilitators – a group of students created a “wearable” for the visually impaired, pairing goggles, sensors, and the Arduino Studio software to allow someone to ‘see’ by relying on the sensors.

“The camp serves to introduce [students] to coding and hardware in a way that they understood they had power over it,” said Pamela Wentworth, Teacher and Trainer for MDCPS. “Kids are consumers – they play games and they use apps, but they don’t realize they have the power to make it themselves, and they don’t have to buy it. The impact was to introduce the students to that idea, and get them excited about coding and what they could accomplish with the Arduinos.”

While traditional classrooms rely on structured groups, these projects provided a more fluid group experience, with the students coming together to design a plan, and then work on their sections individually. These skills will not only help in the classroom, but also provided a space for students to learn how to work collaboratively in a group and independently on the same project.

Apart from a traditional sponsorship role, UDT also provided the MDCPS team with the insight on which products to purchase and acquired them for the classrooms. Two team members, Managing Director Hugo Perez and Education Specialist Laylah Burman, also stopped by to speak to the students on the real-world implications of these skills. As an added perk, UDT provided a pizza party right before camp wrapped up, and t-shirts for the kids to wear.

UDT has a long-standing commitment to providing educators and students with the best in technology, from hardware to STEM products. To learn more about UDT can help your school accomplish more, click here.