For many kids, summer time means freedom from studying, homework, and learning in general. This past summer though, 100 children aged 9-17, spent one week of their summer learning and participating in online classroom activities with FieldCore’s first-ever virtual STEM Camp created in partnership with Codecraft Works, a pioneer educational technology company.
Shannon Landin, Founder/CEO of Codecraft Works, was excited to partner with FieldCore in creating this camp. “This is the first time we’ve done this kind of camp with a company and we loved it,” she said. “We can see that FieldCore is very interested in developing the STEM skills of future generations, which aligns with our goals, too.”
For two hours each day, the kids logged in to an online platform, provided by Codecraft Works, and engaged in real-life activities led by expert instructors with activities based around science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As they learned in the virtual environment, they also experienced and tackled many of the real work problems all of us at FieldCore face regularly – like how to collaborate virtually when working with others in remote locations, distance learning and learning new skills and enhancing their technical knowledge.
“This is the first time we’ve done this kind of camp with a company and we loved it. We can see that FieldCore is very interested in developing the STEM skills of future generations, which aligns with our goals, too.” – Shannon Landin, Founder/CEO of Codecraft Works
Getting kids excited about learning during their summer break is no easy feat, but somehow the Codecraft Works team managed to do just that. Prior to starting the camp, the kids were sent a pre-survey where they were asked if they thought what they would learn in the camp would be fun. More than half of them answered “No!”
“It’s summer and I don’t like computers,” said Thomas when his father, Jim Roe, IT Field Service Director, told him he was enrolled in the camp.
Nathan Trautman, NAM region Productivity Manager, also enrolled his son Mathieu in the camp. Even though the week-long camp fell during their annual family vacation to the lake, since it was a virtual camp, Mathieu was able to fully participate and enjoy both activities. He took his laptop with him and joined in the online activities as he sat beside the lake.
“Mathieu really enjoyed the camp. He even spent more time developing his project after finishing his sessions. He developed a lot of skills in one week – I’m surprised to see him coding so easily,” said Nathan. “The camp ended several weeks ago and Mathieu still talks about it with my wife and me and shows us what he learned. It also strengthened our relationship and communication. It was a terrific opportunity, a great effort from FieldCore,” he adds.
A follow-up survey to the kids who participated showed that, like Mathieu, most of the children did indeed enjoy the camp. In fact, 99 percent answered that ‘Yes’ the camp was fun after all!
As for Jim’s son Thomas, Jim says that he changed his mind during the camp, and even continues using the Scratch programming technology that he learned in the camp. “Anything I can do to help them learn over the summer is a win in my book,” said Jim.
As a virtual camp, this created a unique and innovative way for us to expose many more children to STEM concepts and help develop these skills. We hope to replicate this program in other regions and languages in the future.
A big thanks to Jim Roe for spearheading this initiative!